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Holyrood committee to examine Scottish tower block fire safety

Officials at Camden Council in north London have evacuated hundreds of apartments in four tower blocks as a precaution after fire inspectors concluded that they were unsafe. It said about 650 apartments were evacuated, though initial reports put the figure at 800 apartments.Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said officials would visit residents still in their homes, as they required them to leave the blocks before work on making the buildings safe could begin.At least 79 people died inside the furnace that that the Grenfell Tower turned into after it caught fire on June 14.Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted: “My thoughts are with residents being evacuated in Camden while their homes are made safe tonight”.Britain’s fire-safety crisis expanded substantially Saturday as authorities said 34 high-rise apartment blocks across the country had cladding that failed fire safety tests.She said: “At the end of today, they told us they could not guarantee our residents’ safety in those blocks and so I have made the really really hard decision to move the people living there into temporary accommodation while we do the urgent works to guarantee safety”. Just as local and central governments took several days to get on top of the relief effort after Grenfell, the situation in Camden is far from under control.The number of United Kingdom high-rise buildings found to have cladding that failed fire safety tests has been expanded to 60, the government has said. “There’s no organization and it’s chaos”, she said. “I don’t believe we can take any risks with our residents’ safety”.The council said it hoped most would be found temporary accommodation before having to spend a third night there.”Working with fire service experts to assess risks, a number of councils have already introduced other fire safety measures in buildings, such as 24-hour a day warden patrols, when advice from the fire service is clear that this will mitigate against fire risks ahead of the removal of cladding”.”He [the security guard] stood in front of the door and guys surrounded him and he said “we need to know who you are”, she told the Press Association.In response, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said May needed to “get a grip” and lead a stronger response to what is now a “national threat”.”Our committee will be reviewing building safety standards in full, particularly in highly-dense urban areas with many high rises”.Earlier Friday, police said they were considering filing manslaughter charges in the Grenfell disaster.He says he and other residents are determined to remain in their apartments until a legal notice is obtained or they are “dragged out by their fingernails”. The UK has little experience of disaster, and the authorities are not coping well with the fire safety crisis that has spread beyond Grenfell and is affecting thousands of people living in tower blocks across the country.It comes as the manufacturer of the insulation used to clad Grenfell Tower said they would stop using the product on high-rise buildings.