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Firefighters fed up with Deptford tower block residents stuck in lifts
A LEWISHAM housing organisation will face penalties in the future, after firefighters were called 15 times in a year to people trapped in a Deptford tower block's lifts
The London Fire Brigade says it is fed up with the non-emergency callouts to people trapped in "shoddy" lifts.
And Eddystone Tower in Oxestall Road on the Pepys Estate is one of the ten worst offenders - coming in at number seven for the most callouts in 2012/13.
But, under new rules, the brigade will recover £290 plus VAT from the owners of buildings and lifts for attending non-emergencies.
They claim that, when people are shut in lifts and their health is not at risk, lift engineers should be called instead. The charge is applied from the third occasion firefighters are called to the same building in a twelve month period.
Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority James Cleverly, said: "It is encouraging to see a reduction in lift call outs, however, firefighters are still attending 17 lift rescues each day. We hope this tough new charging scheme will send a clear message to building owners that this is not acceptable.
"As well as being costly for the fire service, being trapped in a lift can be frightening and uncomfortable which is why we’re calling on building owners to take responsibility and sort their shoddy lifts out.
"Firefighters will always attend a call out where it is a real emergency but in many of these cases it should be up to the person in charge of the building whose lift has broken down, to fix the problem."
A spokesman for Lewisham Homes, which manages the block, said: "We are aware of the issues with the lifts at Eddystone Tower and they are currently being upgraded with works due to complete in spring 2014."
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