Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Residents warned of fire risk in Grenfell Tower before blaze


Flames tore through the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in north Kensington overnight, leaving people trapped on upper floors - some holding babies out of windows and others jumping from their flats.

"I grabbed my little girl and ran down the stairs", he said. Tiago Etienne, 17, said he spotted about three children between the ages of four and eight being dropped from an apartment around the 15th floor.

At least six persons were killed and over 50 others injured in the massive fire, with police expecting the death toll to rise. "And one of the things they said they'd do is actually put this cladding on, the cladding that people are now people are anxious about being the cause of the fire spreading with such speed", she said.

Edward Daffarn said he was on the 16th floor and heard a neighbor's smoke alarm go off and another neighbor called and told him to get out.

Up to 600 people lived in 120 apartments in the Grenfell Tower.

Campaigners for residents of the London tower block that went up in a giant blaze on Wednesday spoke angrily about long-standing fire safety concerns, saying they were ignored because the community was not rich.

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An "endless numbers of people" remained trapped inside and were screaming for help at the windows, Lamrani added.

"Several hundred" people would have been in the block when the fire broke out, leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Nick Paget-Brown said.

Burning debris cascaded from the blazing building.

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Another singer, Rita Ora, said the fire happened in her neighborhood and "couldn't believe" what had happened.

A website run by the "Grenfell Action Group" said residents of the tower had expressed concerns over the safety of the building, specifically pointing to fire risks.

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Two women who live nearby watched the fire break out said they saw people leap from the tower to save themselves.

"I consider this mass murder", he said, explaining that residents had complained about building safety for the London City Council for years. The company that manages the tower on behalf of the local authority had placed fire safety policy across all of its housing stock under review.

Residents of the building, which was constructed in 1974, had long warned of potential fire hazards even though it was completely renovated just a year ago.

"All our warnings fell on deaf ears, and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time", the post read.

"I think the fire brigade was telling them to stay in".

"She made a phone call to her sister around one o'clock but the police said "close yourself in there, put a towel under the door, everything is going to be all right, we're going to see what we can do".

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Residents had reported concerns about fire safety in recent years, and questions were raised about whether a recent refurbishment of the building, in which the exterior cladding was replaced, contributed to the rapid spread of the fire. It was built in 1974 by Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council, and refurbished in 2014-2016 for a total of GBP 10 million. "We will cooperate fully with all the relevant authorities in order to ascertain the cause of this tragedy".

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