Council's sprinkler funding in wake of Grenfell tragedy saves two people from fire

Two people in a Yorkshire high-rise block were ‘saved from a fire’ thanks to the council’s sprinkler investment following the tragic deaths at Grenfell Tower in London, councillors have said.
Hatfield House flats, off Trafford Way, in Doncaster.Hatfield House flats, off Trafford Way, in Doncaster.
Hatfield House flats, off Trafford Way, in Doncaster.

Doncaster Councillor Tosh McDonald alerted fellow members that a fire in Hatfield House flats, off Trafford Way, in Doncaster, took hold at around 5.10am on Friday, February 25.

He said if it wasn’t for sprinklers recently installed in the block, the situation could’ve been a lot worse.

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Deputy mayor Coun Glyn Jones, who has housing in his portfolio, said the Government had provided ‘nil’ money despite saying they would reimburse councils for work carried out on blocks post Grenfell after a blaze killed 72 people back in 2017.

The council, alongside St Leger Homes, spent £5 million installing sprinkler system in all nine of its authority run blocks after the tragedy in London.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has spent more than £1 million in match funding fitting fire sprinklers in around 650 flats across the wider county.

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“There was a recent fire at Hatfield House, a fire that was stopped spreading by the sprinklers and the people there were saved – there was some water damage to the flat underneath but that has been sorted by now.

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“Many places around the country and central government have fell short when it comes to making people sleep easy in their bed at night post-Grenfell.

“We should be holding ourselves up as a beacon of how, despite the cutbacks, we find the money and do what is right to protect the most valuable asset in our borough, which is our residents.”

Deputy mayor Coun Glyn Jones said: “The work has come at a significant cost and it never ends because you have to constantly review what needs to be done – not only from legislation but from people’s safety.

“We were one of the first, if not the first, in the country that just cracked on and got it done because we cannot allow ourselves and I couldn’t have it on my conscience that people would have been injured or even killed .

“The Hatfield House fire that’s been mentioned could’ve ended in two fatalities very easily. “