Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Firefighters Forced to Use Ladders to Get over Electric Gates

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Firefighters Forced to Use Ladders to Get over Electric Gates

Article excerpt

RESIDENTS say landlords are ignoring their concerns after firefighters have repeatedly been forced to use ladders to respond to emergencies.

Firefighters were forced to abandon their engines and scramble over fencing at eight-storey Lamport Court in Ardwick after electric gates failed to open in THREE separate occasions.

In the last month, emergency crews were unable to access the housing block off Grosvenor Street because the fire alarm panel on the building's security gates did not work. Rescue crews responded to alerts on May 25, May 26 and June 19 - five days after the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

On two occasions, they had to use ladders to get over the gates and attend the incidents, which were fortunately false alarms, while on a third occasion a pedestrian entrance had fortunately been left ajar.

Some residents at the 72-flat block say they are now living in fear and are demanding the faults are immediately rectified.

After the Grenfell very concerned safety issues block Joanne And the company which manages the former council homes - just half a mile away from Manchester city centre - is now carrying out investigations to establish why the gates failed.

Resident Joanne Mayott said: "After the tragedy at Grenfell Tower in London, we are very concerned with safety issues in our block.

"On May 25th the main fire alarm went off around 10.15pm. We went down to the meeting point on the car park. From there, my partner called our landlord S4B, and the fire brigade, who turned up really quickly.

"We called the phone number which usually opens the car park gates. However, on this occasion, the gates failed to open so the two fire engines which had arrived didn't have access. In fact, the pedestrian gate wouldn't open either. The firefighters had to use a ladder to climb over the pedestrian gate. Eventually, we were told the building was safe and we could return to our flat. Somebody finally turned up to unlock the gates and turn the fire alarm off 70 minutes later, on behalf of S4B. …

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