June 15th, 2017

The towering inferno: foreshadowed

Horrific:

The residents of Grenfell House in west London had warned of the potentially devastating effects of a fire before last night’s blaze which caused at least 12 deaths and scores of injuries

The 24-storey building in north Kensington, which had only recently undergone an £8.6 million refurbishment overseen by Studio E Architects, was reported to be on fire just before 1am this morning.

Around 200 firefighters and 45 fire engines attended the ‘major incident’ at the 120-flat concrete block – originally built in 1974 but given new windows and aluminium composite cladding with thermal insulation less than two years ago.

However residents under the banner Grenfell Action Group had raised numerous concerns about fire safety. A blog posted earlier today by the group reads: ’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 [the borough].’

’All our warnings fell on deaf ears and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time.’

Among other things, fire alarms within the building don’t seem to have functioned properly, and the fire spread extremely rapidly, as well. The death toll is expected to go higher, and there is speculation about the fire’s cause, which at the moment includes the possibility of a gas explosion, a faulty refrigerator, faulty wiring, the building’s outer cladding, and lack of adequate sprinklers and/or exits.

5 Responses to “The towering inferno: foreshadowed”

  1. Sgt. Mom Says:

    That it spread so fast – that is the horrific part.
    And that people were told to shelter in their apartments and wait for rescue.

    Events like this are why I will never live in a high-rise, or stay in one, either. And if I am ever in one which catches fire, I will be out of there so fast I will make Flo-Jo look like a turtle in comparison.

  2. y81 Says:

    There is something very wrong with that building. There are fires in New York City apartment buildings all the time, and they don’t envelop the whole building like that. It’s not just sprinklers, either: the insulation between floors is supposed to retard fire for hours.

    Even with the World Trade Center, you will recall, the fire was mostly confined to the impact floors. If the building had not collapsed due to the steel girders melting, it would have taken hours and hours to spread upward through the building, in which time the firemen (who were already on the impact floors when the collapse happened) would hopefully have brought it under control.

    I don’t know what kind of building codes they have in England, but not good ones.

  3. y81 Says:

    Here is an example of what I mean. I remember this fire. (One of the dead was a secretary in my office.) It was in a low-income high-rise building, and several people died, but nothing like the London scene. The building itself still operates.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1987/03/23/nyregion/3-jump-to-death-and-4-others-die-in-harlem-apartment-tower-blaze.html?pagewanted=all

  4. Big Maq Says:

    Is it only me that stuff like this is remindful of Flint and its water?

  5. Susanamantha Says:

    Yet it is the dream of liberals to have us all coralled in such places, no doubt in walled cities, all the better to control you, my dears.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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