Flat Fire in St Jude’s Bristol Creates Concerns about Housing Inequalities

  • Flat Fire in St Jude’s Bristol
  • Incident occurred shortly after 6pm 21/03/2021

Opinion

A flat fire in St Jude’s Bristol, occurred the same time the rest of the country focused on a protest taking place just half a mile away. Flat fires or communal bin fires in St Jude’s are asomewhat semi-regular occurrence and predictably didn’t spark much wider interest.

The incident, which took place at Tyndall House on Great George Street, did spark concern for the local community. Those congregating outside voiced concerns about fire safety in their block of flats. They worried about being able to get out safely and that a “really bad one happening,” was likely to occur.

“It’s going to be like Grenfell one day,” a voice behind me said. There was a lot of nodding and agreeing. The indifference towards residents living in St Jude’s has always been obvious in comparison to the attention other parts of Bristol receive. But being able to sleep soundly and safely at night without worrying about your home catching fire due to the close proximity of your neighbours should not even factor as a concern.

While the rest of the world wonders about a protest happening just a short distance away, characterised by images of burning police vans, fires happening in social housing in Bristol receive less attention and mostly, none at all. It’s like an arson in slow motion for which no one is responsible. It can be put down to an accident. Systemic inequalities. A housing system in crisis. No one person becomes responsible for potential deaths because ultimately, everyone is responsible for potential deaths. But that would be a possible truth too unpalatable to consider.

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