Warning issued after three fire call-outs at student halls

By Ali J Hamilton & Iain TaitIMG-20151111-WA0002


Three incidents of bins on fire in just two months at student halls in Leicester have sparked safety concerns.

The cause of the three fires at Newarke Point at De Montfort University is believed to have been students throwing lit cigarette ends down rubbish chutes of the hall’s buildings, and igniting things like pizza boxes and general rubbish at the bottom.

The three incidents took place on the 11th, 21st and 25th of October.

These chute blockages have taken place despite the clear warnings placed on all doors leading to the rubbish chutes.

This has led tIMG-20151111-WA0005o the local Leicester Fire Department being called out numerous times. One anonymous source said: “It’s essentially lazy people putting cig butts down the rubbish shoot, which meets things like pizza boxes and sets off a small fire. Fire trucks have to come out and it is unacceptable.”

After this spate of incidents in such a short period of time, all residents of Newarke Point received an email on the 6th of November outlining the frustrations felt bystaff at responses to fire drills and the actual incidents themselves.

The email sent by The Unite-Students (the management company for the halls of residence) said: “We are unsure of the exact cause of the fire but it was evident upon investigation that large pizza boxes and cigarettes are being put down the bin chutes.

“We want you IMG-20151111-WA0004to be safe, so please discard of your rubbish correctly and break down any large boxes.”

The email added: “By law, you must not smoke in the building. If you are found smoking anywhere in the building you may be called in to the University under the University regulations.”


Annoyed…Emma Guy near the rubbish chute.

One student from Newarke Point Block D who wished to remain anonymous said: “It has affected my sleep and made me anxious about when the next fire drill will be.”

 Other students who felt they have been affected by these drills and incidents wanted to have their say.

George Burton of Newarke Point Block C said: “I remember having a drill about two weeks ago, it was at 2am and very annoying. There was some confusion on whether or not we had to go down, I know my flat found it very hard to get back to sleep”

Emma Guy of Newarke Point Block A added: “It’s a nightmare! Especially when I’m coming out of the shower, it seems to go off once a week”

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