A COMMUNITY spokesman insists not enough information was made available about new fire resistant doors in a block of flats which may have saved the life of a young mum-to-be.

Khabi Abrey, 30, died from smoke inhalation two days after a suspected arson attack in a communal hallway in the Grampian flats in Balmoral Road, Westcliff, on May 7.

New signs will now be installed in all three blocks of the Balmoral estate telling residents to stay inside their flats in the event of a similar incident.

Rotundo Chitiga, secretary of the Balmoral Residents Association, insists “nobody came around” when the new doors, which feature expanding strips to stop smoke getting in to flats, were fitted about a year ago.

She said: “Nobody knew. “It’s the same with all the residents.

“I thought they put these doors in for security. I was very happy because they kept the noise out and I did feel safer."

Despite fire safety leaflets being sent to residents, many were not aware their flats were made fire-proof for up to 60 minutes thanks to these new front doors.

As a result, those on the ninth floor tried to escape rather than remain in their flats when the fire took hold.

Mrs Abrey, who was more than 30 weeks pregnant, was found unresponsive in the hallway.

Miss Chitiga added that she would have done the same thing as Mrs Abrey and leave the flat and feels the council should have done more beforehand to inform people. She added: “I think you have to take advantage of every opportunity to educate residents about new developments."

However Mark Flewitt, councillor for housing, planning public protection, spoke on behalf of the council contractors and said residents were written to and meetings were held about the doors.

He said he has spoken “at length” to estate managers South Essex Homes (SEH) and showed the Echo leaflets handed out to new tenants from January 2016 that includes advice to remain in flats in case of fires in communal areas.

The previous information leaflets were less clear, although they did advise residents to block the edges of the door and wet it.

Mr Flewitt said as a result of the tragedy new signs were now going to be installed in the blocks - and an article will appear in the tenant magazine Insight.

He said: “Having listened to and read the comments from local people it is clear that despite the work already done we can and will do more to communicate fire safety advice to tenants.

“I have already asked SEH to work with the fire service to install clear fire safety advice within all tower block flats.

“Whilst this is not a legal requirement, clearly there is a desire for this to happen and I am happy to drive this forward.

“I have also asked officers to speak to the fire service about the idea of holding a community safety event in memory of Khabi each May and hope to progress this in partnership with local residents and her friends if they wish for this to go ahead.”

*Lillo Troisi, 47, of Balmoral Road, Westcliff, has been charged with murder, arson with intent to endanger life and arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

He is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on November 9.