RESIDENTS in Oakridge say they have been ‘kept in the dark’ over work to make their homes safe following a major fire at an apartment block.

As previously reported, 85 homes in the Oakridge area will need work carried out to make them safe after Vivid housing association was issued enforcement notices following a fire in Oakridge Road on Saturday, May 27 which ripped through several apartment blocks and left 24 families displaced.

The homes in Aspen Way, Pear Tree Way, Oakridge Road and Forsythia Walk will all need work after enforcement notices were issued by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS).

READ MORE: Enforcement action against Vivid relates to 85 homes

Basingstoke Gazette: Scaffolding was put up months ago in Pear Tree Way (left) following the fire in Oakridge RoadVivid has been asked what the work will involve, how long it is expected to take, and whether families will be able to stay in their homes while it is carried out.

It has not yet responded to these questions but did say: “We’re communicating with our customers to keep them fully informed.”

However, residents have told the Gazette that they have ‘no idea’ what is going on.

Karen Moir, who lives in one of the affected flats in Pear Tree Way, said she received one letter from Vivid months ago to say that scaffolding would be going up, but no further communication.

SEE ALSO: Oakridge fire victims to receive update on investigation 

The 42-year-old said the scaffolding has now been up for months with no work carried out and added: “Vivid should be informing us what’s happening around here.”

The mother-of-two who does not work because of health issues, understands the work is in relation to a cavity in the loft, but said Vivid did not explain why it needed to be done and has not kept residents updated on the progress.

She added: “We have not been told it’s in relation to the fire. We don’t know much because no one has told us anything. They put the scaffolding up but no one has taken it down. They sent us a letter but that was ages ago. I am getting annoyed because I can’t open my curtains because I don’t want to look at it.”

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) said it is not yet able to make public a report produced following an independent investigation into the incident, conducted by Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

READ ALSO: Vivid told to make homes safe after major fire in Oakridge

The focus of the investigation was on the construction of the flats and similar flats in the area, due to the speed at which the fire spread.

Mike Lucas, who lives in Pear Tree Way, said safety checks were carried out following the fire, and he also received the same letter as Miss Moir, but said there has been no further communication.

The 42-year-old father-of-one who works for SSE said: “It does worry me. But I’m glad I’m on the ground floor because if there was a fire upstairs it’s more worrying for them.”

He said there had been no meetings held for residents following the fire, adding: “There was just one letter and it was dated the middle of November but nothing has happened since then.”

Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Cllr Paul Harvey said: “The fire in Oakridge Road has been a traumatic experience for the residents involved and the wider community. Our priority, working alongside others, has been making sure they have had the support they need during this difficult time.

“Our officers have supported Vivid to ensure those who can move back to their homes do so as quickly as possible and where this has not been possible, suitable alternative homes have been found working with residents depending on their needs and where they wish to live.

“We are continuing to support Vivid and they have reassured us that they are doing all they can to check other properties under the enforcement notices and carry out any work needed as soon as possible.”

Vivid has been asked for a comment.