"WE don't see this being taken seriously".

Those are the words of fearful residents living in an apartment block in Basingstoke which has potentially dangerous cladding.

It comes after firefighters were called to two incidents in a week - resulting in some residents being evacuated. 

People living in Crown Heights, in Alencon Link, say they are constantly worrying about the possibility of a fire spreading throughout the building.

READ MORE: Crown Heights, Basingstoke: Fire crews at apartment block

Basingstoke Gazette: Crown HeightsThe external cladding at Crown Heights, which has around 250 flats, contains the flammable material ‘expanded polystyrene’ and features no fire breaks.

It means the building is at risk of being engulfed if a fire broke out, similar to the tragedy that happened at Grenfell Tower in 2017.

Shikrant Deshmane, who lives with his wife and 11-year-old daughter in the building, discovered the first fire on April 5, calling 999, after noticing 'consistent smoke' coming from a balcony a couple of floors below his flat.

Worried that someone could be stuck inside the flat, Shikrant started knocking on his neighbours' doors to find a contact for the flat's tenant.

SEE ALSO: Work to remove cladding from Crown Heights in Basingstoke delayed

Shikrant said: "It's horrible, it's stressful. We had to evacuate the whole floor on that day. We shouldn't wait for something bigger than this to happen, this is the spark.

"This is the thing where all the entities should come together and take this seriously, we don't see this being taken seriously, even though it is a highly escalated matter.

"We should have scaffolding standing here at this moment. The whole building is living under stress, it's not just us, all the owners and all the tenants are living under stress. We were lucky to catch the fire.

"Are they waiting for the worst? That's what we are thinking."

Shikrant's wife, Amruta, began making calls to vulnerable residents on their floor to ensure their safety, saying one of her neighbours is on oxygen, another person has disabilities and another is pregnant. 

"They couldn't leave quickly if something happened. My husband would have to call me for a rescue, and we would take them out one by one," Amruta added.

SEE MORE: Firefighters attend incident at Crown Heights Basingstoke

Work to remove the cladding was initially due to start in September last year, but was then pushed back to November. Residents are now facing another lengthy wait, with work not due to start until July. 

Fire crews were called to a second incident on April 8 which turned out to be a 'false alarm', but a car fire in the nearby multi-storey car park at Festival Place caused concern for residents. 

On Thursday, April 11, firefighters were spotted in Alencon Link dealing with the incident. 

Smoke from the fire blew into Crown Heights with some residents choosing to leave. 

One resident saying: "We hope the driver is ok, but we live in fear.”

READ ALSO: Crown Heights residents frustrated over cladding work

The building's original developer, Barratt, said it "remains fully committed to starting work at Crown Heights as soon as is practically possible".

A spokesperson for developer said it is "completing all necessary remediation at no cost to leaseholders in line with our Building Safety Pledge of April 2022 and the Developer Remediation Contract of March 2023". 

They added: "We are currently on track to start on site in July 2024, subject to approval from the Building Safety Regulator which is a requirement for buildings over 18m in height.

"All works are currently expected to complete by September 2026."

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were contacted for a comment but it did not respond before the Gazette went to print.