Residents of Sheffield tower block which failed fire safety tests speak out

Cladding on the Hanover Tower block in Sheffield is taken down after it failed a fire safety test. Sheffield Council said a single element of covering on the Hanover tower block in Exeter Drive, Broomhall, failed the inspection. Picture: Benjamin Paul/SWNS
Cladding on the Hanover Tower block in Sheffield is taken down after it failed a fire safety test. Sheffield Council said a single element of covering on the Hanover tower block in Exeter Drive, Broomhall, failed the inspection. Picture: Benjamin Paul/SWNS
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Residents in a Sheffield tower block where cladding on the outside of the building failed a fire safety test have said they're 'terrified'.

Residents in a Sheffield tower block where cladding on the outside of the building failed a fire safety test have said they're 'terrified'.

Ahmed Ghanam, 27, lives on the top floor with his wife and two children. Picture: George Torr/The Star

Ahmed Ghanam, 27, lives on the top floor with his wife and two children. Picture: George Torr/The Star

Concerned residents of Hanover tower on Exeter Drive, Broomhall said they're 'confused' and 'scared' after they were initially told their cladding was safe following the tragic fire in London on June 14.

But after further tests on the material, Sheffield Council claim they did not contain the same material agreed with a contractor.

One resident said Sheffield Council bosses gave 'rehearsed answers' to resident's questions at a meeting last night while another asked how the mix up occurred.

Another resident said in 21 years of living at Hanover tower, there's never been a fire drill.

Aram Salih, 41, a taxi driver, with his youngest child, Atina, two, at their home in Hanover Tower.. The cladding on the 16 story block in which he lives has failed a government safety test and in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, Mr. Salih says he fears for his safety and that of his family. Picture: Benjamin Paul/SWNS

Aram Salih, 41, a taxi driver, with his youngest child, Atina, two, at their home in Hanover Tower.. The cladding on the 16 story block in which he lives has failed a government safety test and in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, Mr. Salih says he fears for his safety and that of his family. Picture: Benjamin Paul/SWNS

The tower, which comprises of 125 flats over 15 floors, was refurbished in 2009.

John Cawthorne, secretary of the Hanover Tenants and Residents Association said he's kept a sample of the cladding that was installed in 2009.

He said: "I feel betrayed - the samples are 3mm aluminium sheets and that's what the council asked to be put on this building and that was not discovered when the tests were carried out."

Ahmed Ghanam, 27, lives on at the top of the building on the 15th floor. He lives with his wife and his children aged two and three.

Hanover tower resident Amanda Lycett Picture: George Torr/The Star

Hanover tower resident Amanda Lycett Picture: George Torr/The Star

"We're absolutely terrified," he said.

"We were told by the council the cladding was safe. Obviously from what's gone on in London people were very nervous already but this news is scary.

"We have to walk down a flight of stairs to reach the lift and if the lift is broken, with two small children, it can take 15 minutes to reach the bottom.

"I went to a meeting about it and the council were not very forthcoming at all. There was a very negative outcome and they kept giving us rehearsed answers to all our questions.

Cladding on the Hanover Tower block in Sheffield is taken down after it failed a fire safety test. Sheffield Council said a single element of covering on the Hanover tower block in Exeter Drive, Broomhall, failed the inspection. Picture: Benjamin Paul/SWNS

Cladding on the Hanover Tower block in Sheffield is taken down after it failed a fire safety test. Sheffield Council said a single element of covering on the Hanover tower block in Exeter Drive, Broomhall, failed the inspection. Picture: Benjamin Paul/SWNS

"We've been told it's the contractor's doing but where are they?"

Heading back into the block on a quick break from work is 41-year-old dad of three, Aram Salih.

The taxi driver has lived at Hanover tower since 2003 and also shares the concerns about the cladding.

"Fortunately for me, I live on the first floor but this is really worrying. I'd like to know how this happened.

"My kids at six and eight have seen the news in London on the TV. They keep asking me if something like this could happen where we live and they're frightened.

"I'm not sleeping very well, your mind is always on if you're safe or not."

Workmen arrived at the block this morning as they began to remove the cladding.

The work is expected to take up six or seven weeks. Residents can move out into accommodation arranged by Sheffield Council if they choose to.

Amanda Lycett, 40, lives on the sixth floor since 2013 with her 11-year-old daughter. She found out about the cladding while at a relative's house.

She said: "I only found out about the cladding in my block when I turned out the local news I was really confused at first.

"I couldn't believe it, I feel sick to my stomach thinking about it.

"We were told we were safe after what happened to those poor people in London and it doesn't look like we are."

Abdi Robleh, 58, has lived in his fourth floor flat since 1996. He said the block's never had a fire drill and he only now knows what to do in a fire when the council popped a leaflet through his letterbox yesterday.

"I couldn't believe it when I found out the cladding at Hanover wasn't 100 per cent safe - I was shocked, I'm quite afraid to be honest," he said.

"People have been asking the council for two weeks now about if something like what happened could happen in London and we've been told not to worry, the cladding is different."

Coun Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety, said: “We are working quickly to ensure the safety of all our tenants, at Hanover and across the city, and to reassure them during what is clearly a distressing time.

“Work has got underway at Hanover today because we need to show residents just how seriously we are taking this. We are talking to as many residents as possible to reassure them about the work that needs to be carried out at Hanover.”