COUNCIL flats in Dewsbury were left structurally unsafe following a major fire last Sunday.
Residents fled their homes on Ashworth Close when the blaze broke out around 4.30pm.
Five flats were affected and three were gutted as flames spread from a roof void across the two-storey building.
Investigators believe a cigarette discarded in a bin was the cause, though the severity of the fire means there is little evidence left. Kirklees Council’s emergency plan was activated to help tenants forced from their homes. All the residents, thought to number at least 12, got out before emergency services arrived.
Some are now staying with relatives. Neighbours living close to the block were also evacuated as a precaution.
Det Insp Stephanie Wiseman, of Kirklees CID, said: “The building has been left structually unsound. We are waiting to take a proper look and do not yet know what caused the fire.”
Firefighters from Dewsbury, Mirfield and Batley were joined by a specialist aerial appliance from Wakefield.
The block, in Eightlands behind Dewsbury Railway Station, is managed by Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH).
A spokesman for KNH said: “This was a terrible fire and our thoughts are with all those affected. Our staff are in the process of contacting them to determine what support they need now and in the coming weeks.
“Each household has a designated member of staff who will co-ordinate their move into alternative housing.
“We will make them as comfortable as possible until they can move back home.”
Pictures: Ash Milnes