Furious residents claim no alarms or sprinklers activated after Sheffield flat block fire

Fire at North Bank flats in Sheffield - Picture: Twitter @tuxford7
Fire at North Bank flats in Sheffield - Picture: Twitter @tuxford7
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Terrified residents have claimed that no alarms or sprinklers were activated following this morning's arson attack in a block of Sheffield flats.

Emergency services rushed to North Bank flats on Willey Street at around 6.30am after residents reported a fire on the sixth floor stairwell.

Inside of North Bank Tower - Credit Jennifer Evans

Inside of North Bank Tower - Credit Jennifer Evans

The floor was evacuated and two residents had to be rescued from their flats by firefighters whilst the fire was extinguished.

One resident who lives in a seventh floor flat in the building with her partner said she was woken by a firefighter in a cherry picker knocking on her window.

She said: "I was told not to leave or open the doors. But none of the alarms went off at all in the building.

"We wouldn't have known what was going on if the fire fighters hadn't woken us all up.

Inside of North Bank Tower - Credit Jennifer Evans

Inside of North Bank Tower - Credit Jennifer Evans

"The fire fighters knocked on my door over and over again and then a firefighter in a cherry picker woke me up by knocking at my window and telling me to open it.

"My partner was out on a night shift and I rang him panicking. The only information I had was that the building was on fire and I wasn't allowed out the flat."

Another resident, Sophie Lee, said: "I'm really angry the alarms didn't go off.

"The first I saw of it was when I walked out and saw smoke in the stair well.

"The building is a joke in itself. The lift is constantly broken and it's a major fire threat in regards to the electrical element of it."

One resident said escaping out of the building would have been difficult as the stairs were blocked by firefighters.

She added that if residents escaped through a window on her floor it would lead to a balcony with a fire door, but she claimed that this cannot be opened.

Fire safety in tower blocks has come under intense scrutiny after 79 people have either died or are missing following an inferno at Grenfell Tower.

"I've been following the situation with Grenfell and obviously been very worried. So the fact that it's actually happened in our building is terrifying," the resident said.

"Council buildings are inspected and rectified and looked after but private rented buildings like ours aren't. They just don't care as long as they get their money."

The resident praised the amazing work of firefighters who warned residents of the fire before rescuing two residents using a turntable ladder.

Nobody was seriously injured in the fire but two people were taken to hospital as a precaution and treated for potential smoke inhalation.

Police said the fire is being treated as suspicious and an investigation is now underway to determine the exact circumstances surrounding the incident.

A 40-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of arson and currently remains in police custody.