Untouched house is a grizzly reminder of fire that claimed a life

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

Residents have been left reliving the horrors of a house fire that took the life of a woman, claims a councillor, as the house has still not been repaired.

The home, in Alderwood Road in Eltham, caught fire in the early hours of September 29, 2022, and led to a 32-year-old woman dying, as well as a man and child being hospitalised.

The incident destroyed half of the ground floor and most of the first floor of the mid-terraced house, as well as stripping away much of the roof.

Conservative councillor Pat Greenwell, representing the Eltham Town and Avery Hill ward, said that pigeons were now living in the derelict roof of the home and the house was continuing to have an impact on the mental well-being of people in the area.

The councillor said at a Greenwich council meeting on March 27: “This building is derelict. Here we are, a year on, it hasn’t got a roof.

“It’s awful, it looks like something out of a horror book and each time the residents come out, it brings it back. The awful tragic incident where somebody was killed in the fire.”

She asked if the council could take action to resolve the issue, despite the building being privately owned. A resident living in Alderwood Road, who wished to remain anonymous, said her family had only moved to the street a week before the incident.

The neighbour said: “Since then, people just keep dumping trash in front of the house. There are a lot of birds, sometimes I’ve even seen foxes on the roof. It’s crazy, we have a lot of animals and over time I can just see it getting worse and worse.”

Labour councillor Pat Slattery, cabinet member for housing and neighbourhoods, offered her condolences and sympathy to the residents of Alderwood Road and was aware of fly-tipping outside the house following the event. She said in her written response that nuisances from feral pigeons can be reported to the council’s environmental health team.

Cllr Slattery said at the meeting: “It’s not a council home. I do understand that it’s a constant reminder but I do think certainly my powers as a cabinet member for housing are limited in that area.”

Pictured top: The house on Alderwood Road (Picture: Joe Coughlan)


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