Portsmouth City Council leader reassures high-rise tenants following tragic London blaze

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The Leader of Portsmouth City Council has reassured tenants living in the authority’s high-rise buildings, following a tragic fire in a London tower block this morning.

Councillor Donna Jones said: ‘The council owns 13 tower blocks, over 10 storeys. All of them have a fire risk assessment every 12 to 18 months and comply with the highest fire standards.

‘Our housing service also has a dedicated fire safety officer, and we have regular meetings with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.’

Cllr Jones’ message of reassurance came after former Tory MP for Portsmouth South, Flick Drummond, tweeted calling for residents’ fears to be relieved.

Ms Drummond tweeted: ‘Ghastly news of the tower block fire in west London. We have a lot of tower blocks in Portsmouth that need reassuring @DonnaPCC’.

Speaking to The News, Ms Drummond said: ‘What happened in London is everyone’s worst nightmare.

Smoke billows from a fire that engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London Picture: Rick Findler/PA Wire

Smoke billows from a fire that engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London Picture: Rick Findler/PA Wire

‘This might be a time to re-examine the safety procedures in place at our own tower blocks and make people re-aware of them.

‘Every resident needs to be assured and know where their escapes are and how to get out of their building.’

Reports suggest several people have died and more than 50 are in hospital following the blaze at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London.

Eyewitnesses have told of the horrific scenes as the fire ripped through the building.

Emergency services were called to the scene at 1am in an attempt to extinguish the fire and evacuate residents from the tower’s 120 flats.