Grenfell Tower Fire – A Tragedy that shook London

By | June 21, 2017

Deadliest fire in mainland Britain

On 14th June 2017 Grenfell Tower, a 24-storey tower block of public housing flats, west London, England was damaged by fire resulting in a lot of damage. It was the deadliest fire in mainland Britain in more than 100 years. It has resulted in death of approximately 79 people. The fire lasted for about 24 hours. Hundreds of firefighters and 45 fire engineers were involved in the efforts to control the fire. Residents of surrounding building were asked to empty their homes due to concerns that the tower can collapse.

The tower contained 127 flats and 227 bedrooms at the time of fire. 65 people were rescued while 74 were found missing or presumed to be dead. The cause of the fire is believed to have been a faulty refrigerator in a 4th floor flat.

Afterward Criticisms and Suggestions

The Mayor of London criticized the safety guidelines for public flats. On 16th June, Prime Minister, Theresa May, who had faced the criticism, announced a huge amount of fund for victims of the fire.

Some residents said that no fire alarms went off when the fire started and hence they got to know about the fire only due to people’s scream and not by fire alarm. Others reported that they survived only by ignoring the ‘stay put’ advice given by the council.

  • After the fire, the Grenfell Action Group said that years ago complaint was filed to warn the council, who own the building, which was also ignored. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said that he wanted answers about the safety and criticism of ‘stay put’ policy. He also said that they can’t have people’s lives being put at risk merely because of lack of safety and maintenance.
  • Fire safety experts said that cladding was a possible cause of the rapid spread of fire. The insulation and cladding gap worked like a chimney in spreading the fire. The cladding went up like a matchstick.
  • Other criticisms of UK fire regulations included the lack of external sprinklers, internal sprinklers, which could have controlled the fire and to prevent blazes from re-entering a building and spreading to other apartments.
  • After this, in Australia, authorities decided to remove similar cladding from all its tower blocks, it was stated that all blocks had cladding in Melbourne.

Relief For Grenfell Tower fire survivors

  • Survivors of London’s Grenfell Tower fire are to be rehomed in a luxury development in the heart of Kensington, the government has said.
  • Sixty-eight one, two and three-bedroom flats have been acquired at the Kensington Row development, it said.
  • The apartments are “newly built social housing” in a complex where the price of private homes starts at £1.5m.

By – Deepali Bhanot

(Content Writer@ Legal Bites)

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