Sprinkler system installed in wake of Grenfell disaster saved two people from fire at Doncaster tower block

Two people in a Doncaster 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.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 6th March 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 9th March 2020, 9:52 am

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

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

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.

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Hatfield House, High Rise Flats, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley

The council, alongside St Leger Homes, spent £5 million installing sprinkler systems 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.

Coun McDonald, said: “Promises were made by Government that money would be found that other such buildings would be made safe. I congratulate you as portfolio holder to make sure that we had safe cladding and for fitting sprinklers and I think we’ve led as a council.

“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.

“Many places around the country and central government have fell short when it comes to make 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: “We were one of the first, if not the first in the country that just cracked on and got it done...the Hatfield House fire that’s been mentioned could’ve ended in two fatalities very easily. "