Dr Kieran Mullan, MP for Crewe and Nantwich, spoke in the Fire Safety Bill debate in Parliament last week, where he recalled the tragedy of the Beechmere fire in 2019 and pushed the government go further on fire safety reform.
It comes after a meeting held with Dr Mullan and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service regarding the Beechmere fire, where the MP received an update on the progress of the investigation into it.
In his contribution, Kieran highlighted that the Fire Safety Bill was a positive step in reforming the whole regime of fire safety, but asked for additional measures like sprinklers for timber buildings as well as buildings such as schools and care homes and others – like Beechmere – where evacuation can be difficult.
The focus of the debate had been on cladding and high rise buildings, following the Grenfell tragedy, but Dr Mullan pushed the government to ensure a wider range of risks were addressed.
Speaking in the debate, he said: “In my constituency in 2019, we had the terrible fire at the Beechmere retirement complex that destroyed the building, leaving more than 150 people without their homes and with their belongings destroyed.
“I pay tribute to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service for its work in battling the blaze and I thank the local heroes who helped residents to evacuate.
“What happened at the building is, of course, at the front of my mind.
“Although the focus of this debate has rightly been on external cladding and high-rise buildings, we must ensure that we use this moment of fire safety reform to act on risks across the board.
“I want to focus on asking the government to go further and be more prescriptive with those buildings that use timber or that house or are used by vulnerable people, irrespective of building height.”
Speaking after the debate Kieran commented: “I want to assure residents that I am continuing to push for answers for people that lost their homes and belongings in the Beechmere fire.
“I recently held another meeting today with chief fire officer Mark Cashin for an update on the investigation.
“Frustratingly, but understandably, we still have to wait for answers to our questions and for legal reasons none of their findings can be shared yet.
“But I am reassured that Mark and his team are continue to dedicate a lot of time and resource into the investigation to make sure no opportunity to hold people to account is missed.
“Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service hopes to be able to share more information by the end of the year and I will carry on pushing for progress.’’