Emergency crews have attended the fifth fire in a week at Margate’s Invicta House – and the second in less than 12 hours.
Crews arrived on the scene at 11.05pm tonight (July 13) after fire alarms sounded following yet another suspected fire in the bin chute. Four engines are in attendance.
Smoke is reportedly as high as the 14th floor. Police are also at the scene and it is understood there will be an investigation.
Crews were at the Millmead Road towerblock just hours earlier today at 4,21pm when residents reported smoke rising as high as the ninth floor. Four engines and the height vehicle attended.
A KFRS spokesperson said: “KFRS was called to a reports of a fire in a block of flats in Millmead Road, Margate at 4.21pm. Four fire engines and a height vehicle attended, and crews used a hose reel jet to extinguish the fire in the bin store on the ground floor.
“A high pressure fan was used to clear the building of smoke. There were no reported injuries and the cause is not known.”
It is understood there was also a fire in one of the lifts on Thursday night (July 11).
On July 10 four fire engines and the height vehicle attended the Millmead Road towerblock due to a bin fire. This followed a call out on July 7 when three engines, including the height vehicle, responded to the call at the flats when a cigarette butt in the chute started a fire.
The blaze on Sunday prompted firefighters to urge residents living in tower blocks to be careful with what they dispose of into the bin chute / communal waste.
Last year firefighters were called to the block three times in one week following a spate of deliberate fires, mainly in the rubbish chutes but one more worryingly in the stairwell.
Following the third incident last year East Kent Housing pledged to increase night security at the flats. EKH is responsible for local authority housing across the area.
Fire safety works, including an alarm system upgrade, were scheduled to be carried out at Invicta House in Margate this month.
Ward councillor Gary Taylor has raised the issue with Thanet council’s head of housing Bob Porter. Mr Porter will be asking EKH for a full report and to advise about any mitigation or security measures needed at the block as a result.
Cllr Taylor added: “Some Tenants cannot hear fire alarm. I put a facebook post up the other night about that fire and that’s how many found out.
These incidents being one upon another seem more deliberate, similarly to last year when idiots were setting fires in corridors and stairwells. Surely there are CCTV cameras in the vicinity.
As I said when we had those 9 fires in one night a couple of weeks ago its about the same same time as last year we had a a spate of arson attacks in area including the big one at the back of B&Q westwood x someone is going to get seriously hurt. I’m grateful I don’t live in Invicta house as I would be thinking of all those people who died in the fire at Grenfell tower I know it’s not the same but it’s possible it could happen God forbid. To many to accidents whoever is doing it has to stop or be caught quickly before there is a disaster again.
I think they should rename the flats to pyromaniac house.