Protests grow over London fire station cuts after Dorrington Point tower block blaze

12:24 15 July 2013

Smoke billows from Dorrington Point [picture: Kim Rennie]

Smoke billows from Dorrington Point [picture: Kim Rennie]


The dramatic blaze in the east London tower block in which a baby and two people needed medical treatment comes amid a wave of protest at the threat to close two fire-stations in the area.

Emergency crews from Bow and Silvertown were among the first to arrive at the 12-storey Dorrington Point in Bromley-by-Bow where fire broke out on the fifth and sixth floors yesterday afternoon.

But both are on a list of 10 London fire stations facing the axe, with reduction in emergency cover elsewhere including Whitechapel.

Some 200 tenants were evacuated from the block on the Bow Bridge Estate as 80 firefighters arrived from Bow, Silvertown, Bethnal Green, Poplar, Millwall, Stratford, Shoreditch, Kingsland, Barking and as far as Plumstead and Peckham.

The baby was treated as a precaution, while a man in his 60s suffered cuts and bruises and an elderly woman was taken to hospital suffering from the effects of breathing smoke.

[Dramatic video—see related links, right]

The list of fire-station closures, which goes before the London Fire Authority on Thursday, has brought condemnation from leading politicians on the London Assembly as well as Tower Hamlets and Newham councils.

The Assembly’s John Biggs, who represents east London at City Hall, accused Mayor Boris Johnson of putting the public at risk by reducing emergency cover to pay for a 7p-a-week council tax reduction.

“People are united against closing Bow and Silvertown,” he said. “East London has been unfairly hit by the Mayor making cuts to emergency services to fund his penny-a-day council tax cut, even though the Fire Brigade has already saved £66 million.”

Critics say the East End will be hit worst, with its many high-rise tower blocks like Dorrington Point, while Tower Hamlets has also recorded the most emergencies of any London borough.

Cllr Marc Francis said: “The fire in Dorrington Point shows just how much risk Boris Johnson’s dangerous plans pose.

“The Fire Brigade has admitted response times to emergency calls in the area will almost double if these cuts go ahead.

“These few minutes’ delay could be the difference between being rescued or serious injury.”

Condemnation also came from Newham’s mayor Sir Robin Wales who fears longer response times to emergencies around Silvertown, Beckton and the whole Royal Docks.

Sir Robin said: “I’m disappointed by the decision to axe Silvertown and feel rightly let down. They have not listened to what residents are saying who are concerned for the safety of where they live and work.

“The closure is a public safety issue—any delay can cost lives.”

The campaigners are joining a London-wide protest on Thursday at The Monument, near London Bridge, followed by a march to the Fire Authority’s meeting at Union Street in Southwark at 2.30pm.

The cuts, including nearby Kingsland-Dalston and Clerkenwell fire-stations, face tough opposition on the Authority which already rejected the closures earlier this year.

Related articles


Latest News Stories

28 minutes ago
Stratford resident Arthur Francis receives his hamper from Cllr Mas Patel, Sir Robin Wales and Cllr Ken Clark

Christmas cheer is set to come early to nearly 3,000 of the borough’s elderly residents.

Yesterday, 18:47
Police are appealing for information after finding a man with unexplained injuries in Spur Road, Beckton

Police are appealing for information after a man was found seriously injured in Beckton.

London Ambulance Service
Yesterday, 17:11
Crowds gather to watch the Christmas tree be switched on

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas now that the first festive light switch-on has taken place.

Yesterday, 16:07
The A13 has been partly closed

The A13 in Beckton has now fully reopened following road closures in place throughout the day.


Most read news


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Read more
Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

Read more
MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder