Ex-Happy Mondays manager almost trapped in London tower block fire near Grenfell

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The former manager of the Happy Mondays led his girlfriend and daughter to safety when a flat in his tower block caught fire.

Nathan McGough immediately thought of the horror of nearby Grenfell Tower when his daughter told him of the fire at roughly midday today.

And the three of them only discovered the fire had broken out when a friend on a neighbouring tower block told them via social media.

The 59-year-old was enjoying a relaxing morning in his top-floor flat with his girlfriend and daughter when the blaze broke out at Markland House, less than a mile from Grenfell.

Speaking to Mirror Online Nathan, who has lived in the building for 20 years, said there was no smoke alarm.

Smoke could be seen pouring from the building

 

“I live on the top floor, the 20th floor,” he said.

“I was at home with my girlfriend and daughter having a relaxing day.

“Out of nowhere they both shouted that the block was on fire.

“I looked out the window and I could see smoke.

“I looked down and I could see flames licking out of the flat eight floors below us.

“That’s when I realised something pretty serious was happening.

“We live next to Grenfell Tower, I remember that, everyone does.”

A fireman examines damage after the blaze on Friday

CAPTION: Sixty firefighters attend tower block fire near Grenfell Tower Pictured – Map showing where tower block on fire on Garfield Road compared to Grenfell

Nathan, who now manages London band White Lies, quickly got wet towels, grabbed his two dogs and headed down the stairs to safety.

“It was pretty frightening.

“Once we passed the level where the fire was we felt a lot safer.

“Ever since Grenfell the fact I lived on the top floor was something on my mind.

“We knew that the stairs were the only exit.

“On the eighth floor (where the fire was) there was some smoke but it was not too bad.

“We saw firemen coming up as we were heading down.

“The fire brigade got there really quickly. You do not have much time to think, you’re just in preservation mode.

“Once we got outside we felt a sense of relief.

“Afterwards, once the adrenalin has left, you realise that it was a really close call.”

No one was harmed in the fire

The tower block is close to Grenfell

 

Nathan says he was told be a member of the London Fire Brigade (LFB) at the tower block that the cause of the fire was a residents barbecue on their balcony.

A spokesman for the LFB told Mirror Online that a full and thorough investigation into the fire is ongoing and they would not comment on the cause until that was complete.

Nathan said: “After Grenfell we were told you could not have a barbecue on your balcony but it appears someone has ignored that advice.

“There was no alarm. My daughter was notified by someone who got in touch with her on social media.

“I have lived here for 20 years and I have never haerd an alarm being tested or anything.

“Each individual flat does have a smoke alarm though.”

Firefighters at Markland House after a fire broke out at the block of flats a short walk away from Grenfell Tower

 

Resident Dhin Chittenden told the BBC she cried as she ran down the steps from her flat on the 11th floor of the tower block.

The 26-year-old receptionist, who has lived in the building with her husband for a month, said she was already fearful about another Grenfell Tower-type tragedy before the fire broke out.

“I kept thinking about that. If it’s happened somewhere else then it could happen again,” she said.

A statement from the LFB said: “Ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters were called to reports of a fire on a balcony at a block of flats in Darfield Way in Notting Hill.

Around 60 firefighters rushed to the block of flats

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“A balcony on the 12th floor was destroyed by the fire and part of the flat was damaged. Crews spoke to residents in the building to reassure them. “

Group Manager Simon Tuhill, who was at the scene, said: “Crews worked hard and did a really good job to bring the fire under control quickly.

“Firefighters contained the fire to the flat of origin and thankfully there were no reports of any injuries.

“Our fire investigation team will carry out a thorough investigation over the coming days to establish the cause of the fire.”



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