Fatalities have been confirmed with questions already being asked about the safety of the buildingby Prospect Team / June 14, 2017 / Leave a comment
A fire at Grenfell Tower in Notting Hill, West London, has killed 12, with the number of fatalities expected to rise.
The fire is believed to have broken out shortly before 1am on Wednesday morning. Although London fire commissioner Dany Cotton says fire fighters arrived within six minutes, the fire spread quickly.
“This is an unprecedented incident,” said Cotton. “In my 29 years of being a firefighter I have never seven seen anything of this scale.”
“This is a major fire that effected all floors of this 24 storey building from the second floor upwards.”
“I am very sad to confirm there have been a number of fatalities. I cannot confirm the number at this time due to the size and complexity of this building. It would clearly be wrong for me to speculate further.”
Over forty engines and over 200 firefighters attended the incident and around 30 flats in the area nearby have been evacuated. Cotton has also confirmed that 50 people have been taken to five different hospitals.
Buzzfeed’s Hannah Al-Othman, who is at the scene, reports that tenants say they did not hear any fire alarms. Council leader Nick Paget-Brown says that several hundred people lived in the tower.
One man who lived in the block, Bayan Sied, told Buzzfeed that they fled from the building after his wife smelt the fire after they came home around half twelve. He reports that they still have friends and family missing. His wife, Nadia Yousuf, says that Muslim residents waking up to break their fast were among the first to notice.
At sunrise, the fire service were still attempting to help residents trapped inside.
This morning, journalist Dawn Foster posted a blog post from Greenfell Action Group, seemingly penned by residents of the building in November, 2016, warning that the block was a fire risk and presciently suggesting that only a major incident would induce the landlords to act.
In March, a post in the journal of Fire Risk Management warned that government delays to reviewing building regulations “could be endangering tower blocks throughout the UK.” Southwark Council were fined £570,000 in 2009 after a fire in a South London block, Lakanal House, took six lives.
The post notes that “There are still 4,000 tower blocks within the UK which have the same regulations applied to them.”
At the time of writing, there is concern that the building could collapse, with areas of the fire still not extinguished.
The police have set up an emergency number for those concerned: 0800 0961 233.
St Clements Church, London, W11 4EQ is requesting donations of clothes, toys, and toiletries for displaced residents.