The Grenfell Tower Fire

blessmycottonsocks

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#33
FWIW, I think it's pretty shabby for anyone to try to score political points out of a tragedy like this.
The flats had even passed a fire safety assessment not long ago.
The priority must be (after caring for the bereaved, injured and homeless of course) to investigate whether the recently added cladding contributed to the inferno and whether smoke alarms, external fire escapes and sprinkler systems would minimise the risk in similar 60's and 70's tower blocks. The instructions to residents to stay put, rather than evacuate also needs urgent reappraisal. Then implement any corrective measures without delay.
 
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#35
We've managed Muslims and Tories within two pages.

Good work. Only the DUP and Trump for the mystery prize.
I didn't write the article, it from the Independent.

Facts are facts, Barwell delayed the safety review and the tories opposed the installation of sprinklers in apartment blocks and care homes. Was this because of lobbying?

72 tory MPs who were landlords voted against a Labour amendment that would required private landlords to make their homes safe and “fit for human habitation”.

Its not just The Independent, other papers, tv stations and radio stations are now covering Barwell's neglect of fire safety regulations.
 

rynner2

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#37
The 'passive safety' idea was predicated on the alleged fact that the building construction would limit any fire to where it started, eg one of the flats. But this disaster has blown that idea out of the water, as clearly the fire did spread, and rapidly too.

Discussion on TV centres on the part played by the new cladding - perhaps it wasn't up to spec. Or perhaps there was an air gap left behind it which helped to spread the fire. Clearly there will need to be a big and speedy inquiry, and I hope it results in several heads rolling. I doubt this clusterfuck is down to any one individual.
 
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#38
  1. Peter Walker‏Verified [email protected] 2h2 hours ago
    Focus on #Grenfelltower inquiry likely to be on external cladding, and whether insulation underneath was flammable - which it can be.


  2. Peter Walker‏Verified [email protected] 2h2 hours ago
    Just spoke to technical director of @FPA_tweets who said some buildings clad in up to 30cm of polystyrene cladding, burns fiercely.
Peter Walker‏Verified [email protected]
Replying to @peterwalker99 @FPA_tweets
He said his organisation had been lobbying govt for long time to bar use of flammable external cladding, but ministers delayed reviews.

.....................................................................

FPA is Fire Protection Association. http://www.thefpa.co.uk/
 
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#39
The 'passive safety' idea was predicated on the alleged fact that the building construction would limit any fire to where it started, eg one of the flats. But this disaster has blown that idea out of the water, as clearly the fire did spread, and rapidly too.

Discussion on TV centres on the part played by the new cladding - perhaps it wasn't up to spec. Or perhaps there was an air gap left behind it which helped to spread the fire. Clearly there will need to be a big and speedy inquiry, and I hope it results in several heads rolling. I doubt this clusterfuck is down to any one individual.
Indeed.

As far back as 2013, residents who raised concerns were threatened with legal action.

 

Megadeth1977

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#40
  1. Peter Walker‏Verified [email protected] 2h2 hours ago
    Focus on #Grenfelltower inquiry likely to be on external cladding, and whether insulation underneath was flammable - which it can be.


  2. Peter Walker‏Verified [email protected] 2h2 hours ago
    Just spoke to technical director of @FPA_tweets who said some buildings clad in up to 30cm of polystyrene cladding, burns fiercely.
Peter Walker‏Verified [email protected]
Replying to @peterwalker99 @FPA_tweets
He said his organisation had been lobbying govt for long time to bar use of flammable external cladding, but ministers delayed reviews.

.....................................................................

FPA is Fire Protection Association. http://www.thefpa.co.uk/
I've seen a video of a fire in a block of flats in France that used polystyrene as insulation.
 

Shady

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#41
I think the tables have been turned now, altho it took people losing their lives to do it, as always, hope they all sue the bastards before they can declare bankruptcy* and get out of it

*could they do that?
 
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#42
I think the tables have been turned now, altho it took people losing their lives to do it, as always, hope they all sue the bastards before they can declare bankruptcy* and get out of it

*could they do that?
They could and in all likelihood will.

Personal cases may have to be taken against those leading and behind the company.

The Council though has left a paper-trail which illustrates their bullying of tenants over a long period of time. Sadly the taxpayers will end up footing that bill.

Hopefully the criminal law will catch some of those responsible.

But the tories have looked after their own when it comes to legislation.

Rachael‏@Rachael_Swindon 29m29 minutes ago
I will be asking my landlord MP @RobertBuckland why he voted against a law making rented homes 'fit for human habitation'.

 

Cochise

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#43
FWIW, I think it's pretty shabby for anyone to try to score political points out of a tragedy like this.
The flats had even passed a fire safety assessment not long ago.
The priority must be (after caring for the bereaved, injured and homeless of course) to investigate whether the recently added cladding contributed to the inferno and whether smoke alarms, external fire escapes and sprinkler systems would minimise the risk in similar 60's and 70's tower blocks. The instructions to residents to stay put, rather than evacuate also needs urgent reappraisal. Then implement any corrective measures without delay.
That advice is given because the fire is not supposed to spread outside the flat in which it starts, and several experts including the lady who is in charge of the fire service response have pointed out that is what usually happens - fires in flats in tower blocks are not uncommon.

Until the cause, both of the fire in the first place (An exploding fridge? Not very likely) and of its rapid spread are known, all the criticism is a bit premature.
 
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#44
FWIW, I think it's pretty shabby for anyone to try to score political points out of a tragedy like this.
The flats had even passed a fire safety assessment not long ago.
The priority must be (after caring for the bereaved, injured and homeless of course) to investigate whether the recently added cladding contributed to the inferno and whether smoke alarms, external fire escapes and sprinkler systems would minimise the risk in similar 60's and 70's tower blocks. The instructions to residents to stay put, rather than evacuate also needs urgent reappraisal. Then implement any corrective measures without delay.
The Residents and the Fire Protection Association are hardly politicising the issue.

They are merely pointing out that concerns were ignored for years. Residents who complained were actually threatened with legal action.
 

Yithian

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#45
Have done some homework.

Nuance: very few people are against requiring that homes be fit for human habitation. What they were being asked to vote on was making them 'fit for human habitation' (with crucial inverted commas).

This is a specific reference to a list of 29 assessment categories here:

http://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/housing-health-and-safety-rating-system-the-29-hazards

Passing 28 categories and being judged to fail on any one is neglect on behalf the landlord. Crucially, there are no specific assessment criteria just a list of hazards: one property could pass muster in one part of the country and fail in another. And while some of these hazards are clearly of life-threatening importance (explosions!), others are just not and are all a matter of degree. What could be fine for one tenant might be a high risk for another (taking into account age, health, mobility, duration of stay etc.)

Friends of mine rented a shoebox that shook whenever the tube passed beneath. It was 'cheap' (still expensive) for the great location and proved the only way they (being young) could afford to live in the area they wanted. They were not bothered and learnt to ignore noise and vibration. If that property had been judged 'unfit' and taken off the market or brought up to standard at cost, they would have had no way to live where they wanted--there wasn't enough income.

Sincerely,
Tory Scum.
 
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#47
Have done some homework.

Nuance: very few people are against requiring that homes be fit for human habitation. What they were being asked to vote on was making them 'fit for human habitation' (with crucial inverted commas).

This is a specific reference to a list of 29 assessment categories here:

http://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/housing-health-and-safety-rating-system-the-29-hazards

Passing 28 categories and being judged to fail on any one is neglect on behalf the landlord. Crucially, there are no specific assessment criteria just a list of hazards: one property could pass muster in one part of the country and fail in another. And while some of these hazards are clearly of life-threatening importance (explosions!), others are just not and are all a matter of degree. What could be fine for one tenant might be a high risk for another (taking into account age, health, mobility, duration of stay etc.)

Friends of mine rented a shoebox that shook whenever the tube passed beneath. It was 'cheap' (still expensive) for the great location and proved the only way they (being young) could afford to live in the area they wanted. They were no bothered and learnt to ignore noise and vibration. If that property was judged 'unfit' and even taken off the market or brought up to standard, they would have had no way to live where they wanted--there wasn't enough income.

Sincerely,
Tory Scum.
Yes, the residents and the Fire Protection Association are politicising this.

Thank God we have the Brave Tory Landlord MPs who defend everyone's right to live in firetrap slums.

No amount of deflection is going to save the Tories in this case.
 

Yithian

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#48
Yes, the residents and the Fire Protection Association are politicising this.

Thank God we have the Brave Tory Landlord MPs who defend everyone's right to live in firetrap slums.

No amount of deflection is going to save the Tories in this case.
I've no wish to argue--or even debate at the moment.

I just tire of a situation in which it seems that every social ill that is discussed on this message board will sooner or later be attributed to evil politicians of the other team. I often find myself judging that British politicians of all persuasions and parties are misguided, wrong and stupid--but most of them are not evil, they're just looking at the world from the wrong perspective.

As several people have said elsewhere, when one demonises conservatives, free-market liberals and devout but non-extremist Christians as baby-eating demons, where does one go for language to describe the mass-murdering, torturing, ethnic-cleansing, genital-slicing, heretic-burning rapist monsters that we still find all over the world?

It's lazy and dangerous.
 
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#49
I've no wish to argue--or even debate at the moment.

I just tire of a situation in which it seems that every social ill that is discussed on this message board will sooner or later be attributed to evil politicians of the other team. I often find myself judging that British politicians of all persuasions and parties are misguided, wrong and stupid--but most of them are not evil, they're just looking at the world from the wrong perspective.

As several people have said elsewhere, when one demonises conservatives, free-market liberals and devout but non-extremist Christians as baby-eating demons, where do you go for language to describe mass-murdering, torturing, ethnic cleansing, genital slicing, heretic burning rapist monsters that we still find all over the world?

It's lazy and dangerous.
Facts are:

The residents warned for years about the fire hazards, a Tory council ignored their concerns and even threatened them with legal action.

A Tory Minister for no discernable reason postponed a fire safety review.

The Tories have opposed the installation of sprinkler systems in apartment blocks and care homes.

The Tories refused to take into account the concerns of the Fire Protection Association.

Tory Landlord MPs voted down legislation requiring homes to be made fit for human habitation.

Yes, I think there are some evil people involved in this.

If Labour had done all of the above what would you be saying?
 

Cochise

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#50
The block apparently had a fire safety review a month before the fire.

There is no point in just quoting facts that may have nothing to do with this.

I've not yet become cynical enough to doubt that in a case like this eventually we will know what happened and who to blame.

At the moment we may all individually have ideas of who is to blame but we don't know, nor do we have the knowledge to make intelligent guesses - unless among us we have a structural engineer or or a forensic scientist who specialises in fires.

However, there have been people with those qualifications interviewed on TV who have explained that a sprinkler system would not have stopped this kind of fire, and who have confirmed that the advice to stay in your flat is thought to be on average the best advice to give.
 

escargot

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#51
Thank God we have the Brave Tory Landlord MPs who defend everyone's right to live in firetrap slums.

Don't forget Tory local councillors.

Cheshire East councillor Brian Silvester slapped with huge fine over fire safety breaches

The former Crewe and Nantwich borough mayor, and his brother Colin, appeared at Chester Crown Court yesterday to face sentence for a catalogue of fire safety breaches at the building they rent out as bedsits on Crewe Road in Shavington.

As well as the 11 fire safety charges, the brothers had also admitted failing to obtain a licence for a house of multiple occupation.

At a previous hearing, prosecutor Bernard Thorogood told the court how broken smoke alarms, loose wiring, holes in the ceilings and combustible materials in the corridors had left tenants terrified for their safety.

According to the fire service, escape in the event of a blaze would have been ‘almost impossible’.

One tenant, John Masters, had even come up with his own ‘dramatic’ makeshift escape plan, keeping a rope and hammer by his window.
etc
 
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#52
The block apparently had a fire safety review a month before the fire.

There is no point in just quoting facts that may have nothing to do with this.

I've not yet become cynical enough to doubt that in a case like this eventually we will know what happened and who to blame.

At the moment we may all individually have ideas of who is to blame but we don't know, nor do we have the knowledge to make intelligent guesses - unless among us we have a structural engineer or or a forensic scientist who specialises in fires.
If a fire review passed that cladding then there may be questions to be answered by the inspectors.

I doubt though if the residents are making up stories about being ignored for years and even threatened. They do have documents to back up their case. They are also being interviewed on TV about this.

I also doubt if the Fire Protection Association would invent a narrative about their concerns being ignored.

And it is quite possible that the Tory Landlord MPs were motivated by altruistic concerns when they voted down the Labour Amendment.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#53
"If Labour had done all of the above what would you be saying?"

That these concrete abominations of the 60s and 70s were thrown up largely under Harold Wilson's watch.
That the very similar Lakanal House fire was in Southwark, which I believe was a Labour council.
That tragedies like this aren't about party politics and could occur wherever such high-density, high-rise buildings exist.

I don't know what the answer to gross overpopulation is, but I doubt that building more death-traps like this can ever be justified.
 

OneWingedBird

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#54
Latest updates from the BBC feed:

  • Six people have died, according to police, with the number expected to rise
  • Seventy-four people have been treated in hospital
  • It is unknown how many remain unaccounted for
  • Estimates suggest between 400 and 600 people live in the building, which contains about 120 flats
Not too hard to do the maths there. :eek::eek:

Also, cause now cited as unknown.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#55
There is a great disparity in accounts of how many lived in the flats. Some sources say about 200. All, presumably, guesswork based on the number of flats and depending on occupancy. By the sounds of it, there were lots of young families.

Tasteful or not, the political dimensions have been in the frame from the start: not only the paper-trail of concerns and the alarmingly prescient warning that it would take a tragedy to create action but also the lack of planning and provision for the evacuated people. The community have responded generously, it seems, but on a grassroots basis.

Politicians, local and national alike, appear to have kept away from this disaster on their doorstep. The press are encountering some very angry residents in a very divided part of the city. :(
 
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Ringo

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#56
I had a nightmare last night about a fire in a block of flats in London. I told my wife about the dream at 08.00am (07.00 British time) this morning. I checked the BBC news app for the first time today at 10.30 and read about this. The cause was different in my dream but I still felt a shiver down my spine when I read the headline. I'll post about it in What did you dream last night?
 

Cochise

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#57
If a fire review passed that cladding then there may be questions to be answered by the inspectors.

I doubt though if the residents are making up stories about being ignored for years and even threatened. They do have documents to back up their case. They are also being interviewed on TV about this.

I also doubt if the Fire Protection Association would invent a narrative about their concerns being ignored.

And it is quite possible that the Tory Landlord MPs were motivated by altruistic concerns when they voted down the Labour Amendment.
It's quite possible all sorts of bad things happened. I myself wonder, when it has been compulsory for many many years to build office blocks, even small ones, with two entrances and staircases so the fire brigade can use one to go up while people are escaping down the other one. I was a fire marshal in one such office block so I have some limited familiarity with what would have been done in an office block fire. Why has this not been a requirement in residential blocks where it is arguable a fire is more likely?

I'm not saying 'nothing to see here' - what I'm saying is we don't know yet which of many possibilities are relevant and which aren't.
 

Cochise

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#58
I had a nightmare last night about a fire in a block of flats in London. I told my wife about the dream at 08.00am (07.00 British time) this morning. I checked the BBC news app for the first time today at 10.30 and read about this. The cause was different in my dream but I still felt a shiver down my spine when I read the headline. I'll post about it in What did you dream last night?
I woke up about 2 ish and couldn't get back to sleep - and I am on medication which should pretty much ensure that doesn't happen. Didn't think to check the news though.
 

Rerenny

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#60
Twelve people have died, probably more. Hundreds of people have lost everything. This is like something from the 19th century slums, why the fuck is it happening in 21st century London?

I'm quite upset, to say the least. I can't bear the look on the firefighters' faces, and that poor soul being comforted by Victoria Derbyshire, why the fuck has he, and his community, had to suffer this? "Lessons will be learned" yadda, yadda, yadda. A bit damn late to learn lessons when people are dead, devastated, and destitute.

Sorry, slightly overwrought.
(EDIT: to move an apostrophe; there was, sadly, more than one distraught firefighter.)
 
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