Flats evacuated over fears of building collapsing after car crash

PUBLISHED: 12:49 16 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:06 17 February 2016

Two families were forced into emergency accommodation after a suspected arson in Barking yesterday

Two families were forced into emergency accommodation after a suspected arson in Barking yesterday


Six flats were evacuated last night after concerns the block could collapse because a car crashed into a living room in the ground floor.

The fire brigade was called at 4.30pm yesterday after a black Audi crashed into a living room on the ground floor of a two-storey block of flats at the junction between Grove Road and Gresham Drive, Chadwell Heath.

Two fire engines from Ilford and a fire rescue unit from East Ham attended the scene.

A female driver and a male passenger were believed to be in the car, when the vehicle came up Gresham Drive and shot across the road to land at the corner of the building – smashing into the window and pushing the corner of the building out, say the fire brigade.

The passenger was assisted out of the back of the car by firefighters and the ambulance crew and taken to hospital with minor injuries to his leg.

There are no other reports of injuries and a dog was rescued from the damaged living room.

A fire brigade spokesman said: “The structural integrity of the building was under question. We were not sure if there was potential for the building to collapse.”

Residents in six flats were immediately evacuated and a total of 12 flats, which are part of the same building were affected.

The local authority was contacted to ensure the building was safe and the car could be pulled out.

“There was about five police units trying to keep the scene safe while waiting. It took a long while,” said the fire brigade spokesman.

The fire brigade left the scene at 10.30pm.

The structure of the building has now been made safe by the council, according to the fire brigade.

Some residents were not able to go back into their flat last night.

One fireman said: “The car made a hole in the building and you can see the lounge. There is also a crack in the wall of about 10 to 12ft high.

“You can’t just pull the car out because the roof block could just fall down but while the car was there the block was stable.”

Police and Redbridge Council have been contacted.

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