Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

uppityperson

(115,695 posts)
Tue Jun 13, 2017, 11:36 PM Jun 2017

London fire: fears of people trapped as major blaze engulfs tower block latest

Source: The Guardian

What we know so far

A huge fire has engulfed a tower block in West London.
The fire broke out shortly before 1am on Wednesday at Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road near Notting Hill.
The tower is at least 24 storeys high and contains 120 apartments.
200 firefighters have been tackling the blaze with 40 engines.
A number of people have been treated for a range of injuries according to the fire brigade
There have been multiple reports of people trapped in the blaze. These have not been confirmed by police or the fire brigade.
Streets around the tower have been sealed off and residents in ther houses evacuated.
London Fire Brigade say there is no known cause at the moment for the blaze.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has declared the fire a “major incident”.
This news story will be updated with developments, in addition to this rolling coverage.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/live/2017/jun/14/grenfell-tower-major-fire-london-apartment-block-white-city-latimer-road



---------------

Updates at the link, videos, photos, etc
45 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
London fire: fears of people trapped as major blaze engulfs tower block latest (Original Post) uppityperson Jun 2017 OP
sky news live link... msongs Jun 2017 #1
My mind is doing double tricks..for now just good wishes to those affected... asiliveandbreathe Jun 2017 #2
It's Grenfell Tower, Latimer Road, near Notting Hill, W11 Denzil_DC Jun 2017 #3
Interesting. Kensington is one of the spiffier parts of London Warpy Jun 2017 #7
It's utterly nightmarish. Denzil_DC Jun 2017 #8
KCTMO? Matilda Jun 2017 #9
Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation Warpy Jun 2017 #10
Thank you. Matilda Jun 2017 #12
What is the "just reward" for the deaths this inevitably means? OKIsItJustMe Jun 2017 #13
It was far from a slum Warpy Jun 2017 #16
Yes - Kensington and Chelsea Council owned, and the KCTMO was set up to manage the properties muriel_volestrangler Jun 2017 #19
With no Sprinkler System itcfish Jun 2017 #42
Sounds like it was a shithole - see JenniferJuniper Jun 2017 #11
Here's a flat for rent Warpy Jun 2017 #14
Yes, it was supposedly under renovation and JenniferJuniper Jun 2017 #17
The management company described it as "200 homes." Warpy Jun 2017 #18
They were saying on BBC a lot of young families live there OnlinePoker Jun 2017 #20
On BBC London this morning The King of Prussia Jun 2017 #35
From the Department of "No Shit, Sherlock": Denzil_DC Jun 2017 #34
And, KCTMO Playing with fire! from same site. greyl Jun 2017 #27
how horrible a fire, hope everyone got out. Most must have been asleep at 1 am. Sunlei Jun 2017 #4
"Up in Heaven (Not Only Here)" The Clash JenniferJuniper Jun 2017 #5
BBC: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London OKIsItJustMe Jun 2017 #6
I'm listening to the announcers on ABC (Aust), Matilda Jun 2017 #15
'Building crumbling' Baclava Jun 2017 #21
'Nobody on the top three floors survived': Six dead and dozens missing Baclava Jun 2017 #39
This is awful. No high rise should be occupied that doesn't have working sprinkler systems still_one Jun 2017 #22
Agreed. Although it seems likely that ... Puzzler Jun 2017 #28
Heartbreaking. nt DesertRat Jun 2017 #23
Horrifying melman Jun 2017 #24
they are afraid building might collapse (from BBC news tv) IcyPeas Jun 2017 #25
This message was self-deleted by its author NBachers Jun 2017 #26
Seriously? melman Jun 2017 #29
It's not as if someone made a decision in the middle of the night to use that ad muriel_volestrangler Jun 2017 #31
... Duppers Jun 2017 #30
Just terrible. LeftishBrit Jun 2017 #32
Six dead in London tower block fire, toll expected to rise - police muriel_volestrangler Jun 2017 #33
Government "Sat On" Tower Block Fire Report For Four Years Denzil_DC Jun 2017 #36
Tweet from David Cameron nitpicker Jun 2017 #37
Link to live updates from BBC nitpicker Jun 2017 #38
very sad... Stuart G Jun 2017 #40
Salon: Residents warned that Londons Grenfell apartment was a death trap before fire inanna Jun 2017 #41
64 people injured, including 20 in critical care muriel_volestrangler Jun 2017 #43
This message was self-deleted by its author DonViejo Jun 2017 #44
Death toll now 12, expected to rise muriel_volestrangler Jun 2017 #45

asiliveandbreathe

(8,203 posts)
2. My mind is doing double tricks..for now just good wishes to those affected...
Tue Jun 13, 2017, 11:41 PM
Jun 2017

May there be only minor or no injuries.....but, in my heart of hearts - please let it not be true...my best to Mayor Khan and the people of London.....

Denzil_DC

(7,575 posts)
3. It's Grenfell Tower, Latimer Road, near Notting Hill, W11
Tue Jun 13, 2017, 11:46 PM
Jun 2017

This warning was published by the Grenfell Action Group last November:


KCTMO – Playing with fire!

It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders. We believe that the KCTMO are an evil, unprincipled, mini-mafia who have no business to be charged with the responsibility of looking after the every day management of large scale social housing estates and that their sordid collusion with the RBKC Council is a recipe for a future major disaster.

Unfortunately, the Grenfell Action Group have reached the conclusion that only an incident that results in serious loss of life of KCTMO residents will allow the external scrutiny to occur that will shine a light on the practices that characterise the malign governance of this non-functioning organisation. We believe that the KCTMO have ensured their ongoing survival by the use of proxy votes at their Annual General Meeting that see them returned with a mandate of 98% in favour of the continuation of their inept and highly dangerous management of our homes. It is no coincidence that the 98% is the same figure that is returned by the infamous Kim Jong-un of North Korea who claims mass popularity while reputedly enslaving the general population and starving the majority of his people to death.

It is our conviction that a serious fire in a tower block or similar high density residential property is the most likely reason that those who wield power at the KCTMO will be found out and brought to justice! The Grenfell Action Group believe that the KCTMO narrowly averted a major fire disaster at Grenfell Tower in 2013 when residents experienced a period of terrifying power surges that were subsequently found to have been caused by faulty wiring. We believe that our attempts to highlight the seriousness of this event were covered up by the KCTMO with the help of the RBKC Scrutiny Committee who refused to investigate the legitimate concerns of tenants and leaseholders.

We have blogged many times on the subject of fire safety at Grenfell Tower and we believe that these investigations will become part of damning evidence of the poor safety record of the KCTMO should a fire affect any other of their properties and cause the loss of life that we are predicting ...

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/kctmo-playing-with-fire/

Warpy

(112,219 posts)
7. Interesting. Kensington is one of the spiffier parts of London
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:01 AM
Jun 2017

Last edited Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:39 AM - Edit history (1)

and I imagine they were getting top dollar for those flats. Sky News says the building was largely Muslim occupied, that the fire started about 1:30 AM local time. A few were still up, cleaning after the large post sunset meal, which they'd have been starting to eat around 10PM or so.

What's hard to believe is that a 27 floor building was not built with or at least retrofitted with sprinklers, at least in halls and stairwells. Someone needs to be held accountable for that.

ETA: Many tenants are blaming the rapid spread of the fire on insulated cladding installed over the concrete. They might have a point, the fire looked suspiciously like a lot of the high rise fires in places like Dubai where the stuff is in widespread use to reduce cooling costs.

Here's one for rent: https://www.openrent.co.uk/property-to-rent/london/2-bed-flat-grenfell-tower-w11/219191

Warpy

(112,219 posts)
10. Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:18 AM
Jun 2017

One of those big corporate entities. They claim to manage over 10,000 properties in London.

OKIsItJustMe

(20,084 posts)
13. What is the "just reward" for the deaths this inevitably means?
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:40 AM
Jun 2017
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/live/2017/jun/14/grenfell-tower-major-fire-london-apartment-block-white-city-latimer-road


Local man and witness, Tim Downie, told the Guardian it seemed impossible that there would not be fatalities. “The sheer scale and the speed with which it spread, the closer you got, it seems like there must be casualties and fatalities.”

Warpy

(112,219 posts)
16. It was far from a slum
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:43 AM
Jun 2017

and they just finished replacing all the windows with double glazed windows and they also installed insulated siding on the building, something that is now being blamed for the rapid spread of the fire, as the original concrete would not have done.

muriel_volestrangler

(101,819 posts)
19. Yes - Kensington and Chelsea Council owned, and the KCTMO was set up to manage the properties
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 01:01 AM
Jun 2017
In the early 1990s, the tenants and leaseholders of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea decided to pursue their legal right to manage their own homes. Following two separate ballots in 1994 and 1995, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) was established on 1 April 1996 and the responsibility for managing 9,760 properties passed from The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to the Tenant Management Organisation.

The Council still owns the properties and retains responsibility for strategic housing policies and homeless people. The relationship between KCTMO and the Council is governed by a Management Agreement, which covers all areas of the landlord business. Whilst KCTMO still enjoys a close working relationship with the Council, it is a completely separate company.

In 2002 KCTMO took over the responsibility for major capital works from the Council to access extra resources and funding to enable KCTMO to bring the properties up to the Decent Homes Standard.

KCTMO is managed by a Board of Directors comprising of eight elected tenant and leaseholder members, four appointed Councillor members and three independent appointed other members. The aims of the organisation are numerous, as set out by strategic objectives in a business plan each year.

KCTMO is a company limited by guarantee with members whose main residence is in Council owned or leasehold accommodation. There are currently over 4,500 members of KCTMO, and we actively encourage residents to become members. If you are interested in becoming a member, please visit the KCTMO Membership section of this website.

http://www.kctmo.org.uk/main/8/about-us

JenniferJuniper

(4,520 posts)
11. Sounds like it was a shithole - see
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:19 AM
Jun 2017

this article from last year

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/grenfell-tower-still-a-fire-risk/

Many of these tower blocks from the early 70's were poorly built and had tons of issues, even going way back. See my post below for the lyrics to a 1980 Clash song based on Mick Jones' experience growing up in one very much like this one.

JenniferJuniper

(4,520 posts)
17. Yes, it was supposedly under renovation and
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:45 AM
Jun 2017

that clearly looks like one of the renovated flats. But apparently major infrastructure issues remained.

Assuming the number is correct, 200 people living in a 27 story building, even allowing for some commercial ground floor tenants, isn't many. About 8 per floor?

Warpy

(112,219 posts)
18. The management company described it as "200 homes."
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:49 AM
Jun 2017

so the actual occupancy was very likely much higher.

The renovations, which consisted of double glazed windows and insulated siding (which some say spread the blaze) and a new heating plant were completed last year.

They should have spent the money on retrofitting sprinklers in hallways and stair wells.

OnlinePoker

(5,757 posts)
20. They were saying on BBC a lot of young families live there
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 01:10 AM
Jun 2017

One woman caller said her kids go to the elementary school across from the tower and there were a lot of young kids from it that went to the school.

Denzil_DC

(7,575 posts)
34. From the Department of "No Shit, Sherlock":
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 06:50 AM
Jun 2017
Note: This OpenRent Property Is No Longer Available For Rent. Description below is only for reference, and you can no longer book a viewing or contact this private landlord.

https://www.openrent.co.uk/property-to-rent/london/2-bed-flat-grenfell-tower-w11/219191

greyl

(22,990 posts)
27. And, KCTMO Playing with fire! from same site.
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 02:30 AM
Jun 2017

Excerpt below from: https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/kctmo-playing-with-fire/

It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders. We believe that the KCTMO are an evil, unprincipled, mini-mafia who have no business to be charged with the responsibility of looking after the every day management of large scale social housing estates and that their sordid collusion with the RBKC Council is a recipe for a future major disaster.

Unfortunately, the Grenfell Action Group have reached the conclusion that only an incident that results in serious loss of life of KCTMO residents will allow the external scrutiny to occur that will shine a light on the practices that characterise the malign governance of this non-functioning organisation. We believe that the KCTMO have ensured their ongoing survival by the use of proxy votes at their Annual General Meeting that see them returned with a mandate of 98% in favour of the continuation of their inept and highly dangerous management of our homes. It is no coincidence that the 98% is the same figure that is returned by the infamous Kim Jong-un of North Korea who claims mass popularity while reputedly enslaving the general population and starving the majority of his people to death.

It is our conviction that a serious fire in a tower block or similar high density residential property is the most likely reason that those who wield power at the KCTMO will be found out and brought to justice! The Grenfell Action Group believe that the KCTMO narrowly averted a major fire disaster at Grenfell Tower in 2013 when residents experienced a period of terrifying power surges that were subsequently found to have been caused by faulty wiring. We believe that our attempts to highlight the seriousness of this event were covered up by the KCTMO with the help of the RBKC Scrutiny Committee who refused to investigate the legitimate concerns of tenants and leaseholders.

We have blogged many times on the subject of fire safety at Grenfell Tower and we believe that these investigations will become part of damning evidence of the poor safety record of the KCTMO should a fire affect any other of their properties and cause the loss of life that we are predicting:

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/fire-safety-scandal-at-lancaster-west/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/more-on-fire-safety/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/another-fire-safety-scandal/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/grenfell-tower-still-a-fire-risk/

JenniferJuniper

(4,520 posts)
5. "Up in Heaven (Not Only Here)" The Clash
Tue Jun 13, 2017, 11:53 PM
Jun 2017

The towers of London, these crumbling rocks
Reality estates that the hero's got
And every hour's maked by the chime of a clock
And whatcha gonna do when the darkness surrounds?
You can piss in the lifts which have broken down
You can watch from the debris the last bedroom light
We're invisible here just past midnight

The wives hate their husbands and their husbands don't care
Their children paint slogans to prove they lived there
A giant pipe organ up in the air
You can't live in a home which should not have been built
By the bourgeois clerks who bear no guilt
When the wind hits this building this building it tilts
One day it will surely fall to the ground...

Fear is just another commodity here
They sell us peeping holes to peek when we hear
A bang on the door resoundingly clear
Who would really want to move in here?
The children play faraway, the corridors are bare
This room is a cage its like captivity
How can anyone exist in such misery?

It has been said not only here

"Allianza dollars are spent
To raise the towering buildings
For the weary bones of the workers
To go back in the morning
To be strong in the morning"

OKIsItJustMe

(20,084 posts)
6. BBC: Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London
Tue Jun 13, 2017, 11:56 PM
Jun 2017
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-40269625
[font face=Serif][font size=5]Fire engulfs Grenfell tower block in west London[/font]

[font size=4]A huge fire has engulfed a tower block in Latimer Road, west London, with eyewitnesses claiming people are trapped in their homes.[/font]

[font size=3]The fire at Grenfell Tower on the Lancaster West Estate was reported at 01:16 BST and about 200 firefighters are tackling the blaze.

The Met Police said people were being treated for "a range of injuries".

The BBC's Andy Moore said the whole tower block was alight and there are fears the building might collapse.

At about 04:00 BST police said: "Residents continue to be evacuated from the tower block."

…[/font][/font]

Matilda

(6,384 posts)
15. I'm listening to the announcers on ABC (Aust),
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:42 AM
Jun 2017

who are at the scene. And you can hear them choking back their tears.

No punishment is great enough for the people responsible for this.

 

Baclava

(12,047 posts)
21. 'Building crumbling'
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 01:11 AM
Jun 2017

"It has burned through to its very core"
"It looks very bad, very very bad. I've never seen anything like this. It's just such a big fire.
"The whole building is just crumbling. It's just billowing black smoke."



 

Baclava

(12,047 posts)
39. 'Nobody on the top three floors survived': Six dead and dozens missing
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 09:00 AM
Jun 2017

The fire that swept through a 27-storey west London tower block in just 15 minutes after a fridge exploded could be one of the worst in British history amid fears nobody on the top three floors survived.

Six people are known to have died after fire engulfed Grenfell Tower in White City at 1am today but Scotland Yard says the death toll is expected to rise significantly.

A community leader working to locate victims, who asked not to be named, revealed that nobody who lived on the top three residential floors may have survived.

He said: 'We have a list of missing people - there are so many. It's possible there are more than 50, possibly hundreds'.

Police would not confirm how many people are unaccounted for because the building is still on fire 12 hours after it started.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4601902/Huge-inferno-West-London-tower-block.html

still_one

(93,911 posts)
22. This is awful. No high rise should be occupied that doesn't have working sprinkler systems
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 01:22 AM
Jun 2017

In the U.S. it has been required since seventies.

I hope that people were able to get out

Puzzler

(2,505 posts)
28. Agreed. Although it seems likely that ...
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 02:33 AM
Jun 2017

... deliberate corporate malfeasance MAY have been the reason. London has very tight building regulations.

(pure speculation on my part at present)

-Puzzler

Response to uppityperson (Original post)

 

melman

(7,681 posts)
29. Seriously?
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 02:38 AM
Jun 2017

That's not how that works. They would have no idea that particular ad was on that particular article.

muriel_volestrangler

(101,819 posts)
31. It's not as if someone made a decision in the middle of the night to use that ad
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 02:45 AM
Jun 2017

on that page. It's automated - "put this advert somewhere on The Guardian website", and that non-page-specific decision will have been before this story even started. But since you said they shouldn't reply to you, they probably won't.

muriel_volestrangler

(101,819 posts)
33. Six dead in London tower block fire, toll expected to rise - police
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 06:46 AM
Jun 2017

"We can confirm six fatalities at this time following the fire in North Kensington," London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement. "These are very early stages and we do expect that figure to rise."

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-fire-toll-idUKKBN19518X?il=0

Denzil_DC

(7,575 posts)
36. Government "Sat On" Tower Block Fire Report For Four Years
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 06:56 AM
Jun 2017
The government has failed to act on a damning report about how 4,000 tower blocks are at risk of fire for four years.

Six people died and more than 20 hurt after Lakanal House in Camberwell caught fire in 2009.

Ronnie King, the Honorary administrative secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Fire Safety & Rescue Group, told LBC that recommendations from a report on that blaze have not been properly reviewed.

He told Nick Ferrari: "The All-Party Group were looking at the issue of fire suppression in all the tower blocks with similar designs to this.

"And we understand that there are around 4,000 tower blocks that don't have fire sprinklers fitted into them.

...

Sucessive ministers since 2013 have said they are still looking at it."

http://www.lbc.co.uk/news/london/west/kensington-chelsea/government-sat-on-tower-fire-report-four-years/

nitpicker

(7,153 posts)
37. Tweet from David Cameron
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 07:02 AM
Jun 2017
http://www.bbc.com/news/live/election-2017-40231623


David Cameron
✔ ?@David_Cameron

Truly horrific pictures of terrible fire in my local neighbourhood. My thoughts & prayers with everyone involved & brave emergency services.

2:58 AM - 14 Jun 2017

inanna

(3,547 posts)
41. Salon: Residents warned that Londons Grenfell apartment was a death trap before fire
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 09:28 AM
Jun 2017

Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 09:16 AM EST

A residential tower in London that caught fire on Wednesday, leaving six dead and 20 others in critical condition, was described as a death trap by a local activist group.

“It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders,” wrote the Grenfell Action Group in a blog post from November. “We believe that the KCTMO are an evil, unprincipled, mini-mafia who have no business to be charged with the responsibility of looking after the everyday management of large-scale social housing estates and that their sordid collusion with the RBKC Council is a recipe for a future major disaster.”

They added, “It is our conviction that a serious fire in a tower block or similar high density residential property is the most likely reason that those who wield power at the KCTMO will be found out and brought to justice!”

...

http://www.salon.com/2017/06/14/residents-warned-that-londons-grenfell-apartment-was-a-death-trap-before-fire/

muriel_volestrangler

(101,819 posts)
43. 64 people injured, including 20 in critical care
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 09:45 AM
Jun 2017

---snip---
The number of people injured in the fire has increased to 64, including 20 in a critical condition, according to an update from the London ambulance service.

Its director of operations, Paul Woodrow, said:

"Following this morning’s fire at Grenfell Tower, west London, we have treated and taken 64 patients to six hospitals across London, where 20 people are currently in critical care. Our thoughts are with everyone affected.

"Over 100 of our medics have been working hard to respond to this incident, including ambulance crews, advanced paramedics, advanced trauma teams from London’s air ambulance and those staff managing the incident in our special operations centre. Our hazardous area response teams are also on scene, who carry specialist equipment including breathing apparatus. We’ve been treating patients for a range of injuries, as well as for smoke inhalation."

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/live/2017/jun/14/grenfell-tower-major-fire-london-apartment-block-white-city-latimer-road?page=with:block-59411a2ae4b0bdd87e2f6ad6#block-59411a2ae4b0bdd87e2f6ad6

Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Latest Discussions»Latest Breaking News»London fire: fears of peo...