In the early hours of Sunday 1st Oct a fire broke out on the ground floor of a 3 storey bock of flats in Ringland Close, Hanley. A mother and 2 daughters were rescued from their flat above and rushed to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation – others were moved out of their homes for safety reasons. Local people were shocked by this horrific event but quickly rallied round with toys, clothes, food, donations etc for all the families affected. Stoke-on-Trent city council provided accommodation for all those who had to move out of the block.
Tragically, less than 2 days later 36 year old mother Zainab Adam has lost her fight to recover and died in the Royal Stoke Hospital. And just two days later Zainab’s 6 year old daughter Tafaoul Fadoul also passed away. Zainab’s 6 month old daughter, Tamunni remains in a critical condition in hospital.
In response to the horrific Grenfell tragedy, Stoke-on-Trent city council confirmed in the Sentinel 22 June 2017 that they would install sprinklers in all tower blocks across the city. Councillor Randy Conteh speaking for the council said, “We will start the procurement of this work as soon as possible, so that these additional improvements can begin to be put in place.”
Just over 3 months later, the lives of Zainab and Tafaoul have already been lost. A report on the actual cause of the fire has not yet been confirmed and will of course take some time. However, if sprinklers had already been installed then two lives would almost certainly have been saved.
Some will say that we can’t afford to install sprinklers. But this is just not true. On 11 July 2017 the city council voted to find money to increase the pay of assistant directors and senior managers by around five thousand pounds taking them up to £69,000 and £96,304 respectively a year. Our last Labour council borrowed over £50 million to build a new council HQ which was not needed. Now the current council is spending many thousands of pounds to promote a so-called ‘City of Culture’.
If necessary, the council should demand government money to pay for installation of sprinklers. When banks were going bust in 2008, billions of pounds were ‘found’ to bale them out. If they can do that to bale out the rich bankers then why not to protect ordinary working class people from the horror of more fire deaths.
In 2004, after a three year study on the “Effectiveness of sprinklers in residential premises” the Fire Sprinkler Association (FSA) commented on it’s findings stating, “Sprinklers offer a level of life safety protection unobtainable by any other currently available means of fire protection and without the problem of false alarms” and “That sprinklers can be justified not just on a life safety basis, but also on a cost benefit approach, for a wide variety of risks.”
The way forward couldn’t be any clearer
Ringland Close resident and Stoke Socialist Party organiser, Andy Bentley speaking on Midlands Today about the fire deaths said,
“It makes me angry because for the price of about £1500 each, sprinklers could be installed in every flat in the country. That could save any number of lives …. So why isn’t it being done?”
The decision taken by the city council in June needs to be carried out NOW before any more deaths occur.
There should be no delay – sprinklers to be fitted in all tower blocks whether council owned or privately owned before any more lives are lost.
NO MORE FIRE DEATHS!
INSTALL SPRINKLERS IN ALL TOWER BLOCKS NOW!
Over 1300 people have already signed our petition!
Can you get people to sign a petition in your street, workplace, college, university, school etc?
If you can or would like to help in any other way please TEXT your name and postcode to 07845893607