Claims fire alarms failed to go off after a blaze in a Northampton flat are being investigated by a housing association

Four fire engines and over a dozen fire fighters were called to the blaze in Far Cotton.
Four fire engines and over a dozen fire fighters were called to the blaze in Far Cotton.

A housing association is investigating claims that alarms did not go off at a recent Northampton flat fire after complaints to the Chronicle & Echo.

A resident of the apartment block in West Cotton Close, Far Cotton, says the alarms failed to sound despite "smashing every panel" as she ran down the stairs after a blaze broke out on Saturday morning (August 19).

She also claims she could smell burning for over 30 minutes before she realised there was a fire - and the fire alarm did not activate in this time.

Four fire engines and over a dozen firefighters were at the flat block, managed by Nottingham Community Housing Association, after a 999 call was made at around 9am.

Erin Pebody, 35, from West Cotton Close, claimed the communal fire alarms at her block of flats failed on the day of the fire.

She said: "I was in my flat and I could smell something like burning metal for around half an hour. When I opened my front door, there was smoke everywhere. It was horrendous.

"I started began knocking on doors and shouting there was a fire. But I smashed every fire alarm panel on the way down the stairs. None of them worked.

"Ever since Grenfell Tower I've been so much more scared of this happening."

A 57-year-old woman was arrested and charged with arson with intent.

Sharon Singleton, regional housing manager of Nottingham Community Housing Association, said: “We can confirm that a fire occurred in one of our flats at West Cotton Close on Saturday morning. The fire began in the bedroom of a second floor flat, was contained within this room and did not spread to other flats in the block. Thankfully no one was hurt.

“Police are currently investigating the cause of the fire and we are unable to comment further at this time.

“At NCHA we take fire safety very seriously and comply with all fire safety legislation. We conduct weekly tests of the fire alarm system at West Cotton Close, and no issues have been reported.

“We are aware of reports that the alarms didn’t sound during Saturday’s fire, and we are thoroughly investigating the matter. We will release a full statement once the facts have been established.”