Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

Posts tagged ‘Latimer Road Blaze’

Wow the Tories Can’t Do Anything Right

EDIT – Update 16/06/27 9pm:

Call for info for Grenfell Tower Survivors findingneelo

Call for info for Grenfell Tower Survivors

Grenfell Tower Donations and Drop Off Points

Grenfell Tower Donations and Drop Off Points

I don’t support one party over another or play them off against each other because ultimately the direction of the country doesn’t change. However with everybody looking at the tragedy that is Grenfell Tower in the richest borough of London, Kensington and Chelsea, and how they treat their poor people – a number of dangerously embarrassing factors have been unearthed.

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http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/eight-failures-that-left-people-of-grenfell-tower-at-mercy-of-the-inferno/ar-BBCKiw9

Eight failures that left people of Grenfell Tower at mercy of the inferno

A litany of failings in building regulation and safety rules have left residents in tower blocks vulnerable for decades. Despite constant warnings from fire experts, nothing was done to improve fire-proofing standards, or even review the current situation. Here are the eight times that the victims of Grenfell Tower were let down.

A change in the law

Until 1986 all buildings in London fell under the London Building Acts which ensured that external walls must have at least one hour of fire resistance to prevent flames from spreading between flats or entering inside.

But under Margaret Thatcher’s government, those rules were replaced by the National Buildings Regulations and the crucial time stipulation was scrapped.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

Instead, materials used on the outside of buildings now only had to meet ‘Class O’ regulations and show that they did not add to the heat or intensity of a fire. But crucially they did not have to be non-combustible.

For the past three decades fire safety experts have warned that the ‘Class O’ designation was based on small-scale tests conducted in laboratory conditions and did not properly evaluate cladding in a live fire.

A recent London Fire Brigade investigation into the fire at a tower block fire at Shepherd Court in West London in August 2016 found that external cladding had helped the fire to spread. [My Comment: Yet in the same year Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation went ahead and used known high risk cladding on the partial refurb of Grenfell Tower and used Aluminium instead of Zinc because Aluminium doesn’t spark/ignite when its melting point (lower than Zinc’s) is reached, however that is undermined when coupled with flammable panel parts and insulation.]

They found that when exposed to high flames the metal sheet of the cladding had melted away, setting the inner polystyrene foam on fire and allowing ‘flaming droplets’ to fall onto lower floors while helping flames to spread higher up. Fire chiefs wrote to every council in London to warn them of the dangers but no action was taken.

Dangerous cladding

A leading fire safety expert warned Government advisors three years ago that a tragedy like the Grenfell Tower inferno would happen unless they changed rules to ban cheap, flammable insulation used on the outside of buildings.

Arnold Turling said the Grenfell blaze was “entirely avoidable” and that a gap between the panels acted as a ‘wind tunnel’, fanning the flames, and allowing the fire to spread to upper levels.

Mr Turling, a member of the Association of Specialist Fire Protection, said: “Any burning material falls down the gaps and the fire spreads up very rapidly – it acts as its own chimney.”

Three years ago Mr Tarling, a chartered surveyor, addressed the British Standards Institute’s seventh annual fire conference in London, at which government fire safety advisor Brian Martin was present.

“I said we will have this type of cladding fire in this country and it will lead to large numbers of deaths,” he said.

Following the Shepherd Court fire, insurer RSA wrote a report warning that flammable material in insulation panels “melts and ignites relatively easily”, and can cause “extremely rapid fire spread and the release of large volumes of toxic smoke”.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

They concluded: “This allows extensive and violent fire to spread, and makes fire fighting almost impossible.”

Architect and fire safety expert Sam Webb said there was a “conflict” between fire safety and the materials that are used to make buildings more energy efficient.

However Harley Curtain Wall Ltd said that it had installed cladding, with polyisocyanurate inside, a material which is better than most at resisting fire in tests.

No government review

After six people died in the Lakanal House fire in south London in 2009, the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group called for a major government review of building regulations.

They argued that 4,000 tower blocks across London were at risk because of a lack of fire risk assessments, and panels on the outside walls not providing the necessary fire resistance.

The coroner on the Lakanal House inquest also recommended the government simplify regulations relating to fire safety so they were easier for landlords to understand.

In 2013, then communities secretary Eric Pickles responded to the coroner’s recommendations and promised a review with an updated version of building regulations published in 2016/17.

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham) © Matt Dunham/ASSOCIATED PRESS/AP Images Smoke rises from a building on fire in London, Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Metropolitan Police in London say they're continuing to evacuate people from a massive apartment fire in west London…

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham) © Matt Dunham/ASSOCIATED PRESS/AP Images Smoke rises from a building on fire in London, Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Metropolitan Police in London say they’re continuing to evacuate people from a massive apartment fire in west London…

However, four years on and no review has been completed despite assurances from former housing minister Gavin Barwell, who is now Theresa May’s chief of staff. [My Comment: strip him of his titles and find out WHY he’s been stalling such essential review.]

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government said the work is “ongoing” and would not give a date for when the updated regulations will be published.

A single staircase

Residents in Grenfell Tower made repeated warnings that a single staircase was their only means of escaping the building.

© PA

Despite safety concerns of experts, tower blocks in Britain still only have to have one staircase, leaving Britain out of step with other countries in the world.

Russ Timpson, of the Tall Buildings Fire Safety Network, said his “foreign colleagues are staggered” that there is no requirement for a second staircase as he called on the Government to look again at fire safety regulations.

Residents fleeing in Tuesday night’s blaze complained that stairways were blocked, full of smoke and had no sprinkler systems fitted. Firefighters also struggled to get to the upper levels.

Fire rips through Grenfell Tower in London. © AFP/Getty Images

Fire rips through Grenfell Tower in London. © AFP/Getty Images

Fire rips through Grenfell Tower in London. Ronnie King, secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Fire Safety & Rescue Group, said: “The staircase should have been protected route for firefighters and people escaping but it was clear that it wasn’t.”

The flats had recently been refitted and fire experts warned that gaps in the walls where new pipes were installed could have allowed flames and smoke to spread quickly through the communal areas.

Missing sprinklers

There was no central sprinkler system at Glenfell which members of the Fire Protection Association said would have “undoubtedly” saved lives.

MPs from All-Party Parliamentary Group Fire Safety & Rescue Group also said that MPs had been calling for sprinklers to be fitted on the outside of tall buildings for years, but said their calls been ignored.

Currently, sprinklers only need to be fitted up to 30 metres, but in tall buildings like Grenfell it is impossible for fire hoses to reach the upper heights, leaving the top floors without any protection.

The Fire Protection Association said more sprinklers would “undoubtedly” have saved lives.

“Whether they’d have stopped that fire spreading at the speed it did up the outside of that building is another matter,” Jon O’Neill of the FPA said.

“But to have had sprinklers in that building would have created an environment where it would have been easier to rescue people and increase survivability.”

However in 2014 housing minister Brandon Lewis stopped short of forcing building developers to fit sprinklers, over fears it could discourage house building. [My Comment: He was Minister of State for Housing and Planning 2014–2016, Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Services 2016–2017 and is currently Conservative Member of Parliament
for Great Yarmouth
2010–present Minister of State for Immigration 2017–present. Wow this guy is given too much credit given his deplorable track record, strip him of his titles and investigate WHY he made such a shitty decision. If Sprinklers or any feature was made a normal part of building procedure costs would go down and wouldn’t discourage building especially since the government has to contract for ‘affordable housing’ in a country where there’s already tons of property sitting empty because its too expensive or used for holiday rentals, also too expensive.]

He said at Westminster Hall Debate: “The cost of fitting a fire sprinkler system may affect house building – something we want to encourage.”

Missing fire doors

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

London Fire Brigade said claims that doors were not fire-proofed would form part of its ongoing inquiry.

Two separate sources have told The Telegraph that not all the front doors in the tower block were fire-proofed. Official fire brigade advice to stay put in the event of a fire is based on fire doors offering protection to residents told not to leave the building.

Fire doors are designed to stop the fire spreading rapidly through the building rather than being “compartmentalised”.

'It's like something out of a horror movie' - London fire eyewitness © Provided by Reuters 'It's like something out of a horror movie'

‘It’s like something out of a horror movie’ – London fire eyewitness © Provided by Reuters ‘It’s like something out of a horror movie’

Regulations state that all tower blocks being built must have fire doors on the flat, the stairwell and the riser doors, which give access to the pipes.

Building regulations are not retrospective, so cannot force the installation of modern equipment on old buildings.

However, Richard Brownlee, Managing Director of Surrey Fire and Safety Ltd, said that it would be expected that fire doors were installed as part of any refurbishment and installation would be recommended as part of any refurbishment.

Inspections

According to information released by Kensington and Chelsea Council under the Freedom of Information Act, the last time that Grenfell Tower was subject to a full Fire Risk Assessment was December 2015.

There is a requirement for every building to have regular fire risk assessments, but the regulations do not specify how frequently this should take place. Industry experts say that best practice is every 12 months.

It is also a requirement to have a fire risk assessment carried out if there is a “material change” to the building. The regulations do not specify how soon that inspection must take place.

The refurbishment to Grenfell Tower was completed in May 2016 and yet it does not appear that any safety checks were carried out, even though the new cladding work consisted of ‘material change.’ The council did not respond to a request for comment.

Firebreaks

Fires on outside of cladded buildings should have been controlled by firebreaks – gaps in the external envelope to prevent the continual burning of material.

Under Building Regulations 1991, developers are warned that they must install systems to prevent flames from leaping from floor to floor.

However the Fire Brigades Union and the Loss Prevention Council and the Buildings Research Establishment have frequently warned that guidance is not adequate in the event of a fire.

And fire safety experts said it was unlikely that firebreaks would have stopped the conflagration at Grenfell.

Dr Stuart Smith, a building surveying and fire safety lecturer at Sheffield Hallam university, said: “The rate at which the building was burning suggests that even if the fire breaks were there, they didn’t work.

“Once the fire had got into the cladding, the rate at which that burns, I’m not sure fire breaks would work anyway.”

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So from the Conservative point of view – We had Margaret Thatcher put people in danger, we had Gavin Barwell stall repeatedly recommended review of Fire Safety Regulations, Brandon Lewis then neglected to make adding sprinklers into law and on the very day of forewarned disaster (feared by experts and felt by tenants (who’d also been threatened to take their blog with complaints offline)) Theresa May gave scripted sounding responses, turned up for a ‘private’ meeting with emergency staff whilst ignoring all the victims present… Right after an epic election fail. Pathetic.

The Iron Bitch Margaret Thatcher

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Gavin Barwell

Brandon Lewis

The opposite of Tony B.Liar – Theresa May is a Conservative who loves the colour Red

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http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/shameless-tory-council-leader-blames-grenfell-tower-block-residents-for-lack-of-sprinklers-claiming-they-didnt-want-disruption/ar-BBCK0uN

Shameless Tory council leader blames Grenfell Tower block residents for lack of sprinklers claiming they didn’t want ‘disruption’

A shameless Tory has blamed Grenfell Tower block residents for the lack of sprinklers in the building.

Nick Paget-Brown, the Conservative leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, claimed tenants didn’t want the ‘disruption’ of them being fitted.

Conservative, Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council

Conservative, Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council

Experts have suggested that sprinklers could have been fitted in the 24-storey building for just £200,000 during the £10 million refurbishment.

Asked if installing sprinklers was considered as part of the refurbishment, Mr Paget-Brown said the advice was that the best way to combat the spread of a fire was to contain it.

He told BBC2’s Newsnight: “There was not a collective view that all the flats should be fitted with sprinklers because that would have delayed and made the refurbishment of the block more disruptive.” [My Comment – no but at least the stairway (and corridors) where some idiot decided to put gas pipes and no backup in case of fire.]

“We are now talking retrospectively after the most enormous tragedy, but many residents felt that we needed to get on with the installation of new hot water systems, new boilers and that trying to retrofit more would delay the building and that sprinklers aren’t the answer.”

He added:”I didn’t consider retrofitting sprinklers because we were told that what you try to do when you are refurbishing is to contain a fire within a particular flat so that the fire service can evacuate that flat, deal with the fire.”

But he said: “Of course I regret anything that we might have done differently that would have avoided this tragedy.”

The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association has put the cost of installing a sprinkler system at £200,000.

Mr Paget-Brown was unable to say how many tower blocks in his borough lacked sprinkler systems.

Amid speculation that the cladding fitted to Grenfell Tower could have been a factor in the fatal blaze, Mr Paget-Brown said no other refurbishments in the borough would use the system.

“As far as I know there are no other towers with that cladding,” he said. [My Comment: And how many others didn’t have risk assessments, a fundamental part of planning.]

Asked if the borough would use similar components on towers in the future, he said: “No.”

He added: “We have asked the London Fire Brigade to look at all our towers and give us a report on whether fire safety in all of the towers – because we are very conscious residents are worried about this – whether they can give us the assurance that we need that all of those towers are safe and that they comply with fire standards, fire regulations.” [My Comment: And their advice has been ignored for years by the Conservatives. ‘Shameless’ doesn’t even begin to describe…]

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http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/fire-resistant-grenfell-tower-cladding-would-have-cost-just-%C2%A35000-more-than-flammable/ar-BBCJYO0

Fire-resistant Grenfell Tower cladding would have cost just £5,000 more than flammable

It would have cost just £5,000 to use fire-resistant cladding on Grenfell Tower, it emerged last night.

Hundreds of aluminium panels are thought to have been fitted to the outside of the tower by Harley Facades, a small family firm subcontracted as part of that refurbishment.

US-based Reynobond makes three types of panel: one with a flammable plastic core and two with fire-resistant cores.

Last night investigators were probing whether the cheaper and more combustible, versions were used by the contractors.

Reynobond’s fire-resistant panel sells for £24 per square metre— £2 more expensive than the standard version.

Estimates suggest that the cost of using the more expensive version would have cost about £5000.

A salesman for US-based Reynobond told The Times that this version, which has a polyethylene core and is known as PE, was banned in American buildings taller than 40 feet (12.2 metres) for fire safety reasons.

He said:“It’s because of the fire and smoke spread. The FR [variant] is fire-resistant. The PE is just plastic.”

The PE version is used for small commercial buildings and petrol stations, he said, rather than for tower blocks or critical buildings such as hospitals.

The PE panels which conform to UK standards but are rated as “flammable” in Germany, putting them in the same category as “unprotected wood with a thickness of no more than 12mm”.

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So £2 a head is what the average human being at Grenfell Tower was worth in terms of standard spending and ‘premium’ spending/materials, the difference between life and death or a ‘decent’ and a mentally/physically crippled one. Nice (sarcasm). I thought people were worth much less to decision makers.

Only was used 8.7mil in the 2016 partial refurbishment – that’s all they could be bothered to do and for what purpose was the cladding? To maintain property prices in the most expensive borough in London, to make the building look prettier not to make it more livable. It was likely better off before with the original ‘exposed’ and ‘ugly’ inflammable building materials. This event was preventable and shouldn’t have happened, period. I doubt calls for corporate manslaughter will go far but they should. The risks were known, there were examples worldwide including in the UK, Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) ignored concerns/recommendations from the fire service and tenants, a different to norm metal was used for the cladding, there wasn’t a proper central fire alarm system, the resident association were threatened, the same building method reportedly used on other buildings in their portfolio etc etc etc they’re being cheap and reckless and they know it. They killed, maimed people and animals, made them homeless, put fear into the hearts of people all over in similar conditions -its corporate manslaughter at the very least not [just] building code violations/technicalities with possible fines. Damage control is cheaper than prevention which is why shoddy work like this is done, even in places like uber affluent Dubai who also don’t care about human rights. Tower blocks from the 70s should’ve been demolished not ‘refurbed’ and tenants temporarily re-homed in the process with guaranteed places in the new developments.

This is what happens when they take the cheap route, even ‘not-for-profit’ organizations. What I also hate is there is tons of property in London, tons of it sitting empty because they’re too expensive. We all keep looking for ‘affordable housing’ renting, buying or shared ownership. It’s not a lack of property, its the packing of people into cramped spaces so that buy-to-let landlords can make money. Rents are too high and overall prices far above labour, materials and margins. A ton of property in London and most people dont have access to it and never will let alone buy it. Most people are forced into the rent trap where they’re spending most of their income on rent which doesn’t get them much more than a shelter over their heads especially if you’re living in low standard housing and you can be kicked out at any point with many being ineligible for emergency housing and possibly social housing and innumerable private landlords refuse housing benefit claimants or any ‘benefit’ claimants, people with pets and even people with children instead wanting ‘professionals’ and ‘professional couples’ – what about maternity and paternity leave? Do they have to move out if they’re going to have children? Not to mention that many can’t make decorative let alone structural changes to their residence – say goodbye to the pencil marks/height charts on the walls of your ‘home where you grew up’ (as opposed ‘temporary shelter’) people, sad. We’re not hiring and housing robots, these are people – they eat, sleep, get ill, have children, have family issues, need holiday/rest, change over time, retire – yet governing bodies, insurance firms and mortgage lenders act like they should be automatons. Coupled with a lack of council properties and councils having to look to housing associations and private landlords, what are people supposed to do?! Even professionals have a hard time with teachers being the latest upset in the ever ongoing housing crises, ironic given the previous drive for affordable housing for them. Housing plus travel and household costs means you’re broke and/or in debt, you can barely keep up with the mounting bills. People in the 80s and prior did well when they bought their properties ‘cheap’ for approx £10-40,000, many could pay it off in less than a lifetime mortgage (currently 40 years, previously 25 years) AND on wages that were ok for the time instead of stagnant like they have been for ages against rising prices for everything else. Those people are safe, everyone who came later who isnt rich (and not being ‘successful’ and/or rich doesn’t equate to being lazy, unintelligent or untalented – it just means not as lucky or well connected in order to show off the hard work and be rewarded [fairly or unfairly] for it) are in crises.

A lack of proper precautions and care leads to people having to resort to desperate measures like this:

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http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/quick-thinking-mum-saves-her-family-in-grenfell-tower-blaze-by-running-a-bath-and-flooding-their-flat/ar-BBCJRqR

Quick-thinking mum saves her family in Grenfell Tower blaze by running a bath and flooding their flat

A brave mum saved her family as they were trapped in the Grenfell Tower inferno – by running a bath and flooding her entire flat.

Natasha Elcock was trapped along with her boyfriend and her six-year-old daughter in their 11th floor home when the blaze ripped through the building.

The family had followed instructions to stay in the flat if a fire broke out, but after 90 minutes fire crews told her to flee the flat.

Natasha explained the front door was too hot to touch and when it started to buckle and the windows began to bubble, the John Lewis worker knew she had to take drastic action.

The 38-year-old mum, who has lived in the tower block for 20 years, turned on her taps and flooded the bathroom.

She told the Daily Star : “I let the bathroom flood. It kept the flat damp and it may have saved our lives.”

Natasha kept her daughter on the wet floor and made sure her family stayed in the coldest room.

Firefighters eventually reached the stricken family at 3am and led them to safety.

The death toll after the tragedy has now risen to 17 and fire bosses have warned the number of people killed could be more than 100.

There are still 17 people fighting for their lives in hospital, with dozens more injured, including nine firefighters.

Other acts of extreme bravery have been reported during the desperate escape from the flames.

Hero dad Marcio Gomes had fled the burning building holding onto his 12-year-old daughter.

Grenfell Tower Tribute Wall

Pic Credit: Getty.

But in the confusion the pair were separated. The 38-year-old raced back into the flames to carry his daughter to safety.

And 16-year-old Ines Alves fled the tower block carrying only her mobile phone and GCSE revision notes before heading into school to sit her chemistry exam.
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Respect to those people. It’s not easy to keep your wits about you in such extreme circumstances let alone people who’ve lived in survival mode for months and years e.g. living in class categorized ‘poverty’ (not necessarily squalor, there is such a thing as the ‘proud poor’ whose floors you could metaphorically ‘eat your dinner off’) and under the breadline. Adrenaline and fear are helpful in temporary emergencies for adequate to lifesaving fight or flight, escape or evade instinct but that refers to minutes and hours – after years of depressing situation and conflict/frustration your conditioned behaviours can get in the way because you’ve been numbed/blunted.

The turnout has been amazing, people have really come together to support the victims it’s just a shame that it takes something like this to see community spirit of this level – a level that can get something done, a level that if we were all working for consistently there wouldn’t be a small number of people causing like these events in the first place or exacerbating their chances. The death toll as I write this stands at approx 17-30 but that is really downplaying the estimated figure; as per eye witness accounts the emergency services have left dead bodies in clear body bags on the lower floors of the building shell for all to see instead of immediate removal to morgues etc, some bodies will unlikely be found, others charred beyond recognition and in a 120 flat block with numerous bedrooms, residents, pets and guests a full body count is difficult and probably weeks away. Reports can’t even agree as to whether the tower had 24 or 27 storeys, a relatively simple thing you’d think but then it was part of a 3 building complex, apparently the last one in the regeneration and the ‘ghetto’ one. In my opinion it should have been demolished and residents moved until new accommodation was made and given guaranteed places in that new development. However if the site is to be used for commercial property residents should have been paid out and/or given better accommodation nearby. Instead they got a shoddy, cheap refurb and then lost almost everything in a fire that was supposedly caused by a fridge. In any other building that wouldn’t have happened, your fridge might somehow develop a fault that would somehow cause it to explode… Really? And then 24-27 storeys would go up in flames in less than 2 hours with half the side up in flames than less than one and by the end of it the whole building is a carcass… No. The original and perhaps a few surrounding flats would go at the most and people and pets/service animals should be evacuated not left to jump our of windows, throw babies out of windows ten storeys up and hope someone (not even a firefighter) would catch it, wave out of a window and get rescued 10 hours later, flood their flats etc. I’m really hoping the land doesn’t end up in commercial hands after this, that would be such an evil mockery. We have ‘tent cities’/refugee style camps in the UK, in London for god-sake – on top of our already increasingly homeless population – who’d have thought that would happen? One of the most expensive cities in the world where we moan about immigration, refugees and asylum seekers all the time whilst the poorest countries in the world take the bulk and then look we do it to our own. Nice. Not.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/uk-news/lily-allen-grenfell-tower-interview-13193449 [My Comment – Go Lily, some great quotes there and the article has poignant commentary on Theresa May’s ridiculous behaviour and address towards people:]

“I feel like the government are trying to micromanage people’s grieving here.”

“I have never in my entire life seen an event like this were the death count has been downplayed by the mainstream media.

“Seventeen? I’m sorry but I am hearing from people the figure is much closer to 150 – and that many of those people are children.

“They are off-the-record numbers I have been given from policemen and from firemen.”

“The humanitarian effort on the ground here, the volunteering, which is being led by community leaders and volunteers, it is not being led by the council, it’s being run by the people of this community,” she said.

“It is chaotic, they don’t have any experience of it and I think it’s actually playing into the hands of the Government because once these people’s hope turns to anger, they have got a real problem on their hands.

She said there was no attempt from the council to bind the rich and poor residents in the borough, home to council flats among some of the most expensive properties in the world.

She said the council had instead driven them apart – by closing community centres and pubs in favour of posher versions.

[My Comment – That’s exactly what I was wondering; where are all the millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires (oh wait they’re sitting on and funding boards and sponsoring/lobbying legislation that causes things like this) though I did see Adele in pictures yesterday and the royals just had to do their PR stint today but then unlike Theresa May they have plenty of practise winning over people after Diana’s fiery death/sacrifice, Charles’ indiscretion although it was an arranged marriage in part to produce acceptable heirs, remarriage, Harry’s behaviour growing up, William’s baldness/loss of his mother’s looks and bobble headed super glued smile wife and their offspring – people who will never ever and have never ever had to worry about such things but show up at every letter opening to prove their in touch with the people and know how they feel whilst really being as detached as possible and the biggest ‘welfare spongers’ on the planet whilst making money and resources left, right and centre. They even braved the ash/smoke to get their practised facial expressions in and ruin their luxury designer clothing. As some people have been saying – there’s plenty of space in Buckingham Palace or any of the Royal/Public funded/paid to visit households.]

Prime Minister Theresa May had earlier faced criticism for failing to meet survivors when she visited the scene of the blaze.

Mrs May met police and firefighters dealing with the aftermath of the disaster during a private visit to the west London site, but unlike Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, she was not seen to speak to families and residents.

“She wanted an entirely controlled situation in which she didn’t use her humanity.

“The Prime Minister would have been shouted at by the residents, but she should have been willing to take that.”

In a message on Twitter, Ms [Harriet] Harman said: “Theresa May should have met Grenfell Fire residents. She should have been prepared to listen to them Not OK to speak at them via TV.”

It seems Ms May went for a ‘professional’ briefing, pep talk and a look at the victims only not to talk with them like a human being.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/grenfell-tower-death-toll-count-number-dead-lily-allen-media-a7792871.html

Lily Allen and Channel 4's Jon Snow

Lily Allen and Channel 4’s Jon Snow

Grenfell Tower: Lily Allen accuses the media of ‘downplaying’ death toll

Most publications have been reporting official death counts from the Met

On Twitter, she retweeted users saying: “Death toll of #grenfelltower being suppressed by UK MSM” and “when i was down there they said well into triple figures so is probably even more than 150.good on you for telling some truth”

One of the most devastating events in London’s recent history.

So I woke up this morning and was confronted with the news that there was a tower block in London’s Notting Hill on fire, a tower block people, a whole f*cking tower block. Thinking about it the whole day and how those hundreds of people were terrified in their homes; panicking, running (and apparently having been told to stay in their homes which does happen in quickly spreading fires) instead of or because they were unable to evacuate, trying to reach each other, being blocked from their loved ones and basically screaming in an inferno of hell. I know what it’s like to almost not wake up because of smoke but it’s nothing, a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y nothing compared to the heat, the fumes and the fear of this – one of the most horrifying incidents we’ve had in recent history. And it’s not even terrorism? See we can have people suffering and screaming for help in a monumental f*ckup of incompetence without involving the ‘bloody foreigners’. For gods-sake I can’t get the idea of these people’s pain out of my mind let alone what it must have been like for the people nearby seeing people cry out for assistance or trapped inside or having got out but knowing others were trapped inside being burned alive. What the hell is this – some kind of sacrifice? Is someone having a bubble? Where is their head? [Présenter sur] une plaque.

Poor people and animals being engulfed by flames – I’ve only seen fires of that extent in forest fires and in my nightmares (strange scenarios in dreams where it’s like you’re tested to see if you’d save people and it’s always ‘interesting’ to see who does – I always go back in to the surprise of some – and who doesn’t or who they’re willing to save).

Unknown dead and how many homeless?

An alleged exploding fridge? An exploding fridge people? What was it – a manufacturing fault or a bomb? Either way – it’s a f*cking fridge, those things are good at containment unless it was a big blast. Oh it would’ve been heavily damaged if not destroyed but burning down a whole tower block, even half? No.

12.45am in the morning – when everybody not away or on nightshift was asleep in their beds… Oh that is sick.

When emergency services – get that ’emergency’ services as in those who respond quick time not snail pace – arrive on scene, heck even before, they should be preparing to save lives not carry out the dead. 40+ fire engines (plus how many people, ambulances, police and others) and yet they were visiting a Tower of Babel, a building already [almost] falling to its ruin. In London with fire stations everywhere (even with the closures) and other support and emergency services everywhere – why are some saying they were slow and others reporting they were there in 6 minutes? Who was there in 6 minutes and how many? Tower blocks don’t go up in flames, each apartment acts as a cubicle, as a container – ok fire spreads quickly and hot air rises but it spreads through quickest possible routes e.g. open spaces with oxygen and wind such as stairs but this is a tower block, I doubt there were carpeted stairs and luxe wallpaper to help the fire on its way, stairways were more likely concrete tunnels/spirals. I had to snort at the irony of some thinking there would/should be sprinklers – as interesting or even wonderful an idea that is do you honestly think that kind of money would be spent on poor people? Even in regenerations? They only spent approx 8.7 million on this one (Grenfell Tower, a 1970s building refurbed by the landlord in 2016) for crying out loud.

General practice is to keep your doors [and windows if possible] shut and block draught spaces if you can’t evacuate and you’re blocked off. Basically you block it in its tracks.

Grenfell Tower London Latimer Road Notting Hill Fire Policy Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation

Grenfell Tower Fire Policy.
Pic credit: https://twitter.com/shadowwraiths

How did it get out of the flat? It shouldn’t have spread from flat to flat let alone floor to floor without being unattended in time. Where the f*ck were the fire extinguishers in the building for residents to use and automatic fire alarms let alone the plethora of smoke alarms in the building i.e. one per flat and possibly carbon monoxide alarms (if the building has gas supply), that should’ve have brought attention to neighbours and the fire service. Quickly. Some people reported seeing Blue flames, did it hit the boilers or gas pipes?

This wasn’t like a fire that was attended to properly, it’s worse than a demolition.

Did they have smart boilers which send information back to the boiler company? They have temperature controls – didn’t any detect an unusual amount of heat not caused by the boiler(s) and hence reaching whichever setting they were left on too quickly? An en masse in multiple flats?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenfell_Tower_fire

The cause of the fire is not yet known, but many residents complained about poor fire safety and other problems with the building, which was managed by Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, a company limited by guarantee,[5] on behalf of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The residents’ organisation, Grenfell Action Group, had repeatedly warned of major fire safety lapses since 2013, and also noted past fires and fire-related incidents in similar blocks managed by the same company, which they felt were related to poor fire safeguards and management company fire policies, one of which was a directive telling residents to stay in their flats in case of fire. The group warned in November 2016 that only a “catastrophic” fire would finally force the block’s management to treat fire precautions and maintenance of fire-related systems to a proper standard.[6]

Grenfell Action Group warnings

After the fire, the Grenfell Action Group complained that its years of complaints to warn the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), who own the building, and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation who “supposedly manage all social housing in RBKC on the Council’s behalf” had been ignored, posting a message on its website:[21][22]

Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC. ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time.

It was revealed that RBKC had threatened the Grenfell Action Group with legal action in 2013 in a bid to prevent the group criticising the council, claiming that such criticism amounted to “defamation and harassment”.[23]

http://www.smh.com.au/world/london-fire-people-screaming-trapped-in-grenfell-tower-inferno-20170614-gwqwv9.html

Safety concerns ignored: residents association

From Nick Miller: David Collins, of the Grenfell Tower residents association, has told the BBC their concerns about the safety of the building were ignored by the landlord organisation – a not-for-profit organisation at ‘arms length’ from the council called Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation – and by the council.
They had complained about “fire-safety concerns which were not investigated during the regeneration works”, Mr Collins said.

“(There were) concerns over locations of boilers, concerns about escape, concerns about fire-escape lighting, the list goes on.

“I spoke to councillors and they refused to investigate.”

More interesting information: http://heavy.com/news/2017/06/kctmo-grenfell-fire-action-group-kensington-chelsea-tenant-management-organization-cause/

According to London Ambulance and witness testimony air ambulances were used but what about helicopters for the fire itself? The Fire Brigade couldn’t reach the upper floors, so weren’t helicopters used to help put the fire out?

It spread so quickly I had to ask myself what the fuck? Aluminium cladding is one of the speculative answers and has been responsible for similar fires around the world. Grenfell Tower’s shell was made of Reyondbond/Reynolux panels. According to the maker’s website (Alcoa Corporation), the composition consists of two aluminium sheets fused onto a polyethylene (plastic) core and is painted aluminium. That answered my confusion about aluminium not being enough of or even a carrier for the fire. It needed something else not only to melt but to spread the fire so quickly; the plastic including the cladding provided fuel? Anything else? But also, in terms of speed that would imply the outer fire/heat/compounding heat beat the inside fire, so the outer walls were heating up fast and hence in a sense the fire was coming from the outside at the point (after the initial cause/blast)? Social media photos/videos from the beginning of the blaze to the full on fire have been helpful in illustrating that the fire shot up/vertically on the outside before spreading horizontally to the rest of the building. What about the internal building insulation? The walls, ceilings/floors and electrical insulation. Did any of that provide a buffer? If so will the public at any point see photos of the ‘average’ burned apartment to see where and how fire spread inside of them?

How close was the supposed start of the fire to the main doors of the building? This is one of the reasons why I hate tower blocks – they’re not just prime candidates for ‘sick building [and tenant] syndrome’ they pose multiple difficulties for evacuation especially the higher up you go and then who decides which tenants go where i.e. according to age, disability, mobility, children etc. Tower buildings seem to ask whether some tenants more disposable than others. The social housing sector seems to be of the opinion ‘pile ’em [residents] high and dense regardless of the eyesore they cause to the increasingly surrounding yuppie area(s)’ but it’s ok as long as its ‘standard’ i.e. ‘we [housing associations] all do it, know that we do and the councils know we do so you the little individual can’t complain (and if our colleagues jump off a cliff like lemmings we will do it too)’. ‘Good/best practice’ can be used as a blanket excuse for many consumer issues. Housing estates are bad enough but tower blocks are dangerous and both become disgusting in a short time without a lot of community love and respect, a rare thing.

Places of worship have been open for shelter/aid – well done, I hate those buildings that sit empty most of the time and on public money when they should be providing shelter and sanctuary, possibly food and clothing 24/7. When you’ve got homeless outside looking at you – closed for business, with entrance fees, mostly empty, hosting antique and clergy wealth in your face – you’re not a house of ‘god’ or faith, you’re a slap in the face. Non-religious buildings and streetside provisions have been donated and provided and are the only heartwarming thing about this disaster.

As more news comes in for this one I don’t want to hear any excuses, not by the fire service, the govt, the architects, landlord or anyone; this was a straight up fail.

It’s far too early to say but I hope nobody’s getting any ideas about prime real estate and a possible goldmine.

Latimer Road doesn’t have a good history neither does Notting Hill in general and now it’s been added to.

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/man-seen-waving-jumper-from-grenfell-window-is-rescued-after-being-trapped-in-burning-building-for-12-hours/ar-BBCFXqS?li=BBoPWjQ

A Lancaster West estate resident’s committee member said they are working with a missing list of “possibly hundreds” of residents – but that nobody who lived on the 21st residential floor or above survived.

The committee member, who did not want to be named, said: “I have been told that anyone past the 21st floor did not make it.

“The firefighters told them to stay where they were.

Public Responsibility

When shit happens, don’t do this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenfell_Tower_fire

Social media misinformation

Reports that firefighters took two hours to respond were circulated on social media such as Twitter. In fact the first responders were on the scene within six minutes of the fire being reported. Firefighters were actively dealing with the fire, and several were injured despite their protective gear.[25]

There were genuine appeals for information about missing people on news media, Twitter, and Facebook,[26] but also fake appeals and other fake news on Twitter and Facebook. Photographs of people downloaded from the Internet (such as a Mexican journalist not associated with London) were posted with false “missing” reports. Unexplained rumours of 92 fatalities were circulating on 14 June.[27]

You undermine the entire f*cking process and genuine victims. You don’t want to be a boy who cried wolf in future either when you need help.

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Note: Casualty Bureau emergency line that has been advertised for people to find out about missing persons from the incident: 0800 0961 233

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