The Peabody Trust is suing construction company Walter Llewellyn & Sons for more than £300,000 after a fire broke out in a block of flats.

The blaze destroyed two seventh-floor flats at Holland House in Newington Green, London, almost four years ago, just after they had been finished. The fire started close to a light installed in a balcony area, and spread to ceiling voids before spreading to the void over a second flat, according to a writ issued in the High Court.

It says the void between the flats had acted like a chimney, drawing in the fire. If a cavity barrier had been in place, the fire would have developed more slowly and not reached flat 19, the writ says.

The trust is accusing the company of installing a defective light, failing to heed the risk that rainwater might penetrate the electrical connectors and negligently failing to install an appropriate fire break.

During the blaze, ceilings collapsed or had to be pulled down by fire fighters.

The trust’s claim includes the £200,000 cost of repairing the flats and £53,000 legal costs.