A man has died after a three-roomed flat shared by 17 other men caught fire.
Mizanur Rahman, father-of-two, 41, died after the three-roomed flat in Maddocks House in Shadwell caught fire in the early hours of 5 March. London Fire Brigade said 15 people vacated the flat before its arrival.
The Bangladeshi national, after travelling from Dubai, had only been living in the private-rented property in Maddocks House for a few days at the time of the incident and later died from his injuries in hospital on Thursday, March 9.
Residents claim they raised concerns about overcrowding and leaks seeping through to other flats more than once but were ‘not dealt with for months’ by Tower Hamlets Homes, who manage the communal area of the block.
Rahman died from his injuries after the private-rented flat he was living in caught fire in Shadwell, Tower Hamlets on March 5.
The father-of-two from Bangladesh was living in a two-bed flat with 17 other men, according to nearby residents and survivors of the fire.
Those who survived the flat fire told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) that they were not allowed to put the heating on or use the washing machine during the winter to save money.
‘[The landlord] would not let us use the heater or the washing machine,’ said a survivor who wished to remain anonymous explained.
The landlord disputed claims that there were 18 people living inside the property at the time of the fire: “I don’t what happened. I know it’s my house, but I was not there.
‘[There were] six to seven people [living] inside, but the other people I don’t know about.’
The London Fire Brigade said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “The Brigade was called at 2.52am and the fire was under control by 5.07am. Five fire engines and around 35 firefighters from Shadwell, Whitechapel, Bethnal Green, Dowgate and Dockhead fire stations attended the scene.
‘Half of a three-roomed flat was damaged by fire. Fifteen people left the flat before firefighters arrived.
‘One man was rescued from a bedroom by firefighters. He was taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews where he later died.’
A Met Police spokesperson told the LDRS the fire is not being treated as suspicious and there is no police involvement however, the council said it is now conducting a criminal investigation following the death of Mr Rahman.
A Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson said: ‘Illegal subletting of properties is abhorrent and dangerous because the welfare of tenants is being put in jeopardy for financial gain.
‘We act on complaints of illegal occupation and subletting by visiting properties and issuing enforcement where appropriate.
‘We had visited this property previously following complaints and issued enforcement. We are now carrying out a criminal investigation under the Housing Act.
‘It is shocking that Mizanur Rahman has lost his life and our thoughts are with his family and friends’ the spokesperson said.
For more of our news, read about Wapping residents’ fight against plans for Sainsbury’s Local on their high street.
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