'It was just horrifying': Somers Town residents relive tower block blaze a year on

Residents living in Somers Town have relived the terrifying night an arsonist set fire to his 13th floor flat and caused families to flee for their lives.

Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 12:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 12:54 pm
Picture: UKNIP

Peter Arrandale, who lived in the flat in Handsworth House, has been jailed for six years after a court heard he lit 10 balls of screwed up newspaper.

For those who lived in the same block as Arrandale and in the surrounding area, what happened that night still haunts them.

Kay Nicholls, 57, lives in Flat 3 of Handsworth House.

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Picture: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

She said: ‘When I woke up I saw the area being cordoned off out of the window, but didn’t know what had happened.

‘It was only afterwards that I learned about it. It is scary to think about having people do things like that.

‘It was only a few of the floors that were evacuated, but after what happened with Grenfell Tower I think the whole block would be evacuated now.’

Janet Walker, 66, lives round the corner on Blackfriars Road.

Picture: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

She said: ‘There have been loads of fires happen there in the past, so it didn’t come as a surprise.

‘I remember looking out and seeing the fire engines and knew straight away that it was very serious.’

Gemma Clayton, 28, said: ‘I saw the damage the morning after when walking my children to school.’

She added: ‘We could see it from our house – it was just horrifying.’

Picture: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
Picture: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service