Lessons learned from the Millfield Manor fire? Broadsheet.ie


The following article by Councillor Cian O’Callaghan “Ill Manor” was published in Broadsheet.ie  on 28th August 2017. Full article here, extract to follow:

…Cian O’Callaghan writes:

Have any lessons been learned from the Millfield Manor fire?

In March 2015 fire spread within minutes through six terraced houses at Millfield Manor, a timber frame estate in Newbridge. The fire stopping measures required by the building regulations were partially missing, allowing fire to spread rapidly between homes.

…In response, the government commissioned a review in July 2015 to include a case study of Millfield Manor.

Last Friday, more than two years later, the review was finally published – with the case study from Millfield Manor was omitted.

Over the weekend residents of Millfield were given an unpublished copy of the case study into their estate – the review categorises the risks associated with fire safety defects in Millfield as moderate or medium despite the destruction of six homes in March 2015.

So what are the key learnings from the fire?

And what is the plan for dealing with structural fire safety defects?

Is there a specific plan to deal with the issue of fire safety defects in timber frame estates that were not constructed in compliance with the building regulations?

It appears that there aren’t any key learnings taken from the fire at Millfield Manor or the other fires that have spread rapidly in timber frame estates.

In fact, the government’s review does not even mention the word timber frame; there are no proposals about how to tackle fire safety defects; and responsibility for remedying defects is put firmly on the shoulders of residents and homeowners.

There is no mention in the review of the failure of local authorities to use their enforcement powers against developers to ensure remediation of homes that are structurally non-compliant with the fire safety building regulations.

There is no attempt to hold those responsible to account.

Facing up to the problem of fire safety defects and offering practical assistance and solutions for residents will be challenging – however the alternative minimalist approach to fire safety concerns, favoured up until recently by the authorities in London, is simply not worth contemplating.

Cian O’Callaghan is a Social Democrats councillor on Fingal County Council. Follow Cian on Twitter: @ocallaghancian

Other posts of Interest

Fire safety issues ‘whitewashed’ in long awaited review (Michael Clifford, Irish Examiner)

Fire safety report an ‘insult’ to Millfield Manor residents | Irish Examiner

Dept. of Housing withhold Fire Review into timber frame housing | Irish Examiner 

Minister Murphy has “no plans” for new Safety Advisory Board

Officials refuse publication of Fire Safety Strategy for Defective Housing

Kildare Fire: Safety concerns arise from Celtic Tiger ashes | Irish Examiner

‘Does our Housing Minister know how many homes are at risk of rapid fire spread?’ Cian O’Callaghan

Local Authority knew of estate fire fears for 12 years | Sunday Business Post

“More dog wardens than Building Inspectors” | Look Back 18 

Possibility of Grenfell Tower-type fire exists in Ireland | CJ Walsh

The Price Of Allowing Developers To Self-Certify | Broadsheet.ie

Donegal Mica + Render | “State Fails to Protect Family Homes” Seanad

Cracking up: the legacy of Celtic Tiger Ireland | Independent

“How many more Irish homes are in breach of Fire Regulations?

Defective schools | Are our children safe?

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