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Fire breaks out and a family left without windows as Islington Council works to repair Finsbury Park block

PUBLISHED: 15:54 15 February 2013 | UPDATED: 15:54 15 February 2013

Otley House - Stephen Jones with partner Tina Hudson and son Connor, aged three.

Otley House - Stephen Jones with partner Tina Hudson and son Connor, aged three.

Dieter Perry

A family with a three-year-old son was left in freezing conditions with no front windows or door to their flat for nearly three weeks.

Repair work being carried out at Otley House in St Thomas’s Road, Finsbury Park, meant that Islington Council contractors had to remove the windows and doors Stephen Jones and Tina Hudson’s first floor flat.

Although thermal sheeting was placed over the windows and a temporary door put in place, Mr Jones, 26, said temperatures had still dipped as low as three or four degrees in their flat despite using a blow heater provided to them by the council.

He said: “It has just been absolutely freezing, and my son now has a chest infection as a result.”

The new fixtures were eventually fitted on Tuesday – more than two and a half weeks after being removed.

Work on the block – which is being carried out due to leakages in the new flats created in a row of derelict garages underneath the building at a cost of £2.4million – was further delayed after a fire broke out in another property in the same development last week.

The blaze started in the bedroom of Shahida Begun’s flat during ongoing work to repair her ceiling, which had collapsed due to the leaks. She was in the flat with her children, aged one and three, at the time but managed to escape unharmed.

A spokesman for Islington Council apologised for the inconvenience and said: “Following the fire we instructed the contractor to immediately suspend works to make sure safety procedures are in place. This has been approved and works started again on Tuesday.

“In order to replace the old windows with high spec ones we needed to temporary insulate the flat.

“Because of the cold weather, Mr Jones was given a heater to boost the warmth in his flat. As is usual in these circumstances, full reimbursement is offered for any extra electricity used and the contractor is accepting claims for this.”


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