Skip to content

Fire damage to prestigious canal-side apartment

A fire in a first-floor apartment of a prestigious canal-side development in London’s Islington was discovered one lunchtime by residents.The fire itself was contained by the closed kitchen door, but a thick blanket of smoke spread through the apartment and into communal areas and a number of the apartments above.

Key points:

  • First-floor fire discovered by residents

  • Bespoke kitchen, walls, ceiling, kitchen units and integrated appliances destroyed

  • Smoke contamination to rest of apartment and smoke damage to other apartment

  • Professional restoration contractors appointed

  • Settlement covered both restoration of the apartment and alternative accommodation for the tenant

Fire discovered

A fire in a first-floor apartment was discovered one lunchtime. Residents noticed the smell of smoke and called the fire brigade. It transpired that, a little earlier, the leaseholder of the apartment had taken delivery of a parcel of bed linen. Leaving his apartment, he had placed it on top of his cooker hob and had inadvertently turned it on. As the hob heated up, it set fire to the package.

In the short time before neighbours noticed the smell of smoke, the fire had spread, catching hold of the timber-framed kitchen units and spreading into the ceiling. The fire itself was contained by the closed kitchen door, but a thick blanket of smoke spread through the apartment and into communal areas and a number of the apartments above.

The damage – and the repairs

The bespoke kitchen of the apartment was completely gutted, with walls, ceiling, kitchen units and integrated appliances destroyed. Throughout the whole of the rest of the apartment, smoke had also contaminated tiled floors, windows and decorations and there was light smoke damage to other apartments.

As soon as possible after the fire, the management company arranged for its in-house team to clean up initially, followed by the use of professional restoration contractors. While they were able to deal with the other apartments by extensive cleaning, we agreed that the apartment where the fire started was so significantly damaged that the finishes would need to be restored to a condition suitable for redecoration. The kitchen itself needed a complete refit.

Working together

Given the degree of damage, settlement would cover both restoration of the apartment to its former condition and alternative accommodation for the tenant while the work was being carried out as the state of the kitchen effectively rendered the apartment uninhabitable.

In total, the reinstatement process involved complete re-wiring of the apartment’s electrics, re-plastering throughout, replacement of tiling, re-decoration and, of course, the installation of a new bespoke kitchen complete with a full range of integrated appliances. Ecclesiastical was willing to work flexibly with the leaseholder and agreed to cover costs such as cleaning so that  the leaseholder spent the least possible time in alternative accommodation and could return to the apartment to be closer to the ongoing works.

Matthew Gould, Specialist Claims Consultant of Ecclesiastical says:

“ Having chosen to take a hands-on approach to the restoration of his apartment, the owner liaised closely with his dedicated contact throughout. As the work progressed, there were some elements of improvements on the original and we were able to reach mutually agreeable solutions on cost. There was complete transparency with all of the documentation submitted to us and ultimately we felt that the leaseholder’s very reasonable attitude helped to mitigate expenditure and cost considerably.

This is an excellent example of customer and insurer working together to reach an end-goal that satisfies everyone’s requirements. ”

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc (EIG) Reg No 1718196. Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg No 24869. Ecclesiastical Life Ltd (ELL) Reg No 243111. Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg No 2046087. Ecclesiastical Underwriting Management Ltd (EUML) Reg No 2368571. E.I.O. Trustees Ltd Reg No 941199. EdenTree Investment Management Ltd (EIM) Reg No 2519319. All companies are registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ. EIO and ELL are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 113848 (EIO) and 110318 (ELL). EFAS and EIM are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 126123 (EFAS) and 527473 (EIM). EUML is an appointed representative of EIO who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 402228.