KentLive: Folkestone MP says Napier Barracks fire could have 'led to loss of life'

KentLive: Folkestone MP says Napier Barracks fire could have 'led to loss of life'

Article by Ruth Ovens for KentLive - published 29 January 2021

Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins says there's 'no excuse' for what happened at Napier Barracks following a fire that prompted a large response from the emergency services.

The military site has been used to house about 400 asylum seekers since September last year, despite concerns over conditions.

Fears for their welfare have escalated after 120 people are believed to have tested positive for coronavirus.

This afternoon (January 29), Kent Police was called to a report of a disturbance at the Folkestone buildings.

Officers arrived at around 2pm and were swiftly joined by Kent Fire and Rescue who sent eight fire engines to the scene.

A police spokesperson said "At this stage there have been no reported injuries and enquiries remain ongoing to determine the cause of the fire and establish whether any offences have been committed."

Following the incident MP Damian Collins tweeted a thread: "I have discussed the situation at Napier Barracks this afternoon with the Home Office.

"There can be no excuse for what has happened there.

"The fire could have led to loss of life and I would like to thank our emergency services for the way they took charge of the situation.

"The Home Office have assured me that there will be a full police inquiry into the events at Napier Barracks leading up to the fire, and that those found to be responsible will face criminal charges.

"The asylum claimants staying at Napier Barracks were in a facility that was safe and secure, where they were being provided with food and shelter at the taxpayers expense.

"This is a difficult time for the whole country and these actions have put more strain on public resources.

"Alongside the police investigation into the events at Napier Barracks there will also be a review of the security of the site and the use of the remaining facilities there."

Copyright 2019 Damian Collins. All rights reserved

Promoted by Russell Tillson for and on behalf of Damian Collins, both of Folkestone & Hythe Conservative Association both at 4 West Cliff Gardens, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1SP

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