Concern no alarm heard when fire started at apartment block

People who live in the huge Marco Island apartment block in the city centre said they were left frightened because they didn’t hear an alarm when a fire broke out on the 11th floor of the building.

Firefighters from across the county were called out to the incident on Friday morning, July 16.

Residents said the fire was contained to one apartment and one man said he expected to have been notified by managers of the site in light of the Grenfell Tower disaster in London.

But building managers said “all services within the building operated as they were designed to and in line with the current standards”.

Computer security student Rebecca Procter said: “It’s slightly concerning finding out my building was on fire from the local paper.

“I mean it was quite early in the morning to be notified, it’s just the fact there was no alarm which is a bit frightening.

“There was not really any obvious way of finding out information.”

In response, the property management company LIV Group said the only sounder that operates is within the main reception area, and sounders don’t operate elsewhere in the building.

The company said the safety of residents was paramount and staff were in contact with affected leaseholders to provide support.

The fire service using a hose reel at Marco Island, Nottingham, on July 16
The fire service using a hose reel at Marco Island, Nottingham, on July 16
(Image: Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post)

Ms Procter, a 22-year-old Nottingham Trent University student, who has lived in the Marco Island block for six months, said there was “no obvious indication” the building was alight.

It was only from the landing when she saw fire engines outside.

She spoke about the importance of “being aware that there is a shelter-in-place policy”.

She said: “Having woken up to a fire there was a concern of ‘have I slept through somebody knocking on my door?’

“[Of the policy] only people in the danger area get evacuated, if that makes sense.

“I believe it’s the normal policy in a building of this size. Just because obviously people from 400 flats coming downstairs does not actually help matters.”

She said she was pleased to hear everybody was fine.

Fire crews outside Marco Island in Nottingham
Fire crews outside Marco Island in Nottingham
(Image: Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post)

Fire service chiefs have confirmed that the blaze started due to an electrical fault.

Huntingdon Street was closed at its junction with King Edward Street, on the city centre border with St Ann’s, as seven fire crews sought to contain the fire.

There were no reported injuries, the fire service said.

Crews were called out to the blaze at around 5.40am.

Marco Island resident Rob Slater, 29, who has lived in the block for a few months, said “this is the first incident which has occurred”.

The secondary school worker called for better communication from the building managers over what happened.

He said: “I have just spoken to him, the manager, who had told me it was contained to one apartment on the 11th floor.

“We were not notified because because it’s a big building. It’s quite worrying really thinking of everything to do with Grenfell.

“I would have liked to have been notified, even if it was a minor inconvenience.”

But he added: “I am quite happy it’s been contained quickly and professionally by the fire service.”

One resident showed a picture of what appeared to be a notice put in a lift in the apartment block.

It read: “Was there a fire? Yes.

“Is everyone safe? Yes.”

Marco Island resident Michael Ahn, 26, said he didn’t heard an alarm either.

“I did not hear any fire alarms,” the Queen’s Medical Centre doctor told Nottinghamshire Live.

“I was just taking the lift downstairs from my apartment block, I just saw two firefighters – I did not really know what else was going on.

“I thought maybe they were doing some checks on the building.”

Dan Dickinson, head of block management at the LIV Group, said: “As reported, there was a fire event at of the Marco Island complex on 16 July.

“As the property management company, LIV Group is working closely with the local fire authorities to ensure that, in accordance with the requirement of the fire services, that the building is safe and fully operational.

“At the Marco Island complex, in accordance with fire safety protocol, the only sounder that operates is within the main reception area. Sounders do not operate elsewhere in the building.

“As is the case with many buildings, the Marco Island development operates a “stay put” policy – instructing residents to remain in their apartments in the event of a fire and if they’re living on an unaffected floor.

“All services within the building operated as they were designed to and in line with the current standards.

“Our residents’ safety is paramount. We are in contact with the affected resident leaseholders to provide support while also prioritising the remediation required.”

To read all the biggest and best stories first sign up to read our newsletters here.


Nottinghamshire Live – Local News