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Grenfell fire: Five London tower blocks evacuated over fire safety fears

Eight hundred households are to be evacuated from a council estate in north London in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire to allow "urgent fire safety works" to take place.

The high-rise buildings on the Chalcots estate in Camden were being emptied on Friday evening after firefighters said they "could not guarantee our residents' safety", local council leader Georgia Gould said.

She told Sky that a rest centre had been set up and residents were being found hotels and other accommodation.

Camden Council initially said just some 161 households in the Taplow building on the estate were being "temporarily decanted" to allow up to four weeks of work to be done to the building.

But Ms Gould later told Sky: "We think at the moment it's about 800 (households) but it's an emerging picture."

The rest centre is at Swiss Cottage library, she said, adding: "People are on the ground now talking to residents, working with them to move them to the rest centre. It is happening immediately."

The council had already announced that it would immediately begin preparing to remove cladding from five towers on the estate discovered in checks following the fire in north Kensington which killed at least 79 people.

In a statement on Friday evening Ms Gould said firefighters and council officials had inspected the estate on Friday and said the buildings should be emptied.

Ms Gould said that it was expected the work would take three or four weeks, adding: "We realise that this is hugely distressing for everyone affected and we will be doing all we can, alongside the London Fire Brigade and other authorities, to support our residents at this difficult time.

"The Grenfell fire changes everything - we need to do everything we can to keep residents safe."

It came as four more victims of Grenfell Tower were formally identified, taking the known victims of the fire to nine.

Scotland Yard also revealed manslaughter charges are being considered by detectives investigating the blaze in the tower in west London, which had failed fire safety tests.

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