Several residents have claimed that no fire alarms went off at the block of flats that caught fire in Erith.

Around 70 firefighters and ten fire engines tackled the blaze in Grange House, Sun Court at 9.20am on March 16.

29 people were rescued from the building by fire crews and eight of those escaped using fire escape hoods.

A further two were rescued from the second floor and three people were taken to hospital for treatment.

A resident, who wishes to be kept anonymous, exclusively told the News Shopper that some of the individual flat fire alarms were working but no fire alarms went off in the communal areas.

She explained: “There were no alarms that went off in the communal areas to let other residents know there was a fire in the block.

“Residents on the same floor and above and below did not even know there was a fire until emergency services came banging on their doors”.

A spokesperson for Orbit Housing, which manages Grange House, has said in line with all relevant building safety regulations, there are no alarms in the communal areas.

It added that each flat has its own domestic alarm system that would only sound if it detected fire in the affected flat.

It explained: “This system performed as expected and the fire at Grange House was contained within the flat where it started.

“The fire service approached flats that they felt needed to evacuate once they had assessed the situation on site on Saturday.”

Another person also claimed on the public Slade Green and Erith Facebook page that none of the alarms went off and fire crews evacuated people by knocking on each door individually.

They added: “We didn’t hear anything and didn’t even know there was a fire until fire crews started rushing in.”

Orbit Housing confirmed it has arranged temporary accommodation for residents from all 60 flats until power to the homes can be re-established.

It also added the mains electricity supply to the building was turned off due to the damage caused by the water used to control the fire.

It has thanked the residents for their patience and cooperation during this time.

The fire was under control just after 11.30am.

Fire crews from Bexley, Plumstead, East Greenwich, Lee Green, Erith and surrounding fire stations attended the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by London Fire Brigade and the Metropolitan Police Service.