Residents forced to flee Allen House

September 29 2017

Residents of Allen House in Ashley Down had a rude awakening on Monday September 18 when some people heard a large crack on the top floor of the tower section of the building and the floor dropped by about a foot.

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Residents of Allen House in Ashley Down had a rude awakening on Monday September 18 when some people heard a large crack on the top floor of the tower section of the building and the floor dropped by about a foot.

Avon Fire and Rescue was sent to the former Muller orphanage at 3.12am, and more than 40 residents had to leave the building. The police came quickly, the council opened Horfield Baptist church for shelter and the Red Cross gave support. 

Jo Riches, emergency response officer at the Red Cross, said: “Our team did what we can to help residents who had to leave their property at short notice in the middle of the night. A number of people were still in nightwear when we arrived, so we gave out warm clothes and hygiene packs to those who need them.

“We also helped Bristol City Council set up a rest centre where the residents were given breakfast and emotional support for those worried about their properties. Our team also provided assistance to find temporary accommodation for those unable to return to their homes.”

The council sent structural engineers to assess the building alongside the management company and developers. It emerged that the floor of the first floor flats have partially collapsed into the communal bike store on the ground floor.

There is only one flat on the first floor but there are flats above it that are affected too. By Tuesday afternoon residents of all but three flats had been let back in.

Residents are being put up in hotels by the management company, Remus, who have established a full-time team in Bristol to deal with the remediation and investigation work.

Bishopston Councillor Tom Brook said: “I’ve been in contact with some residents and have offered any support they need from myself or the council going forward. The residents I’ve spoken to have nothing but good things to say about the response from Fire and Rescue, police, council and the Red Cross.

“The detail of how and why this happened will naturally take some time to establish. It’s an old building that has changed hands a number of times over the years before and during the redevelopment work. Nonetheless it should be a priority to establish the facts.

The 19th century grade II listed building, most recently part of City of Bristol College, was converted to flats four years ago.