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14th Jun 2017

Tenants flagged fire risk at Grenfell Tower block as far back as 2012

Serious concerns had been raised over the safety of the building

Conor Heneghan

Residents of the Grenfell Tower block in West London had repeatedly warned about a risk of fire in the building, having initially raised concerns as far back as 2012.

Around 50 people have been injured as a result of a fire in the Grenfell Tower block in west London. Fatalities have also been confirmed.

The 24-storey building underwent renovations that were completed as recently as May 2016, but residents of the building had been warning about a fire threat since 2012, a year before the renovations began.

A number of blog posts by the Grenfell Action Group warned about the risk of fire in the building; one titled ‘Another Fire Safety Scandal’ from February 21, 2013, pointed to a 2012 fire risk assessment of the building, in which it was revealed that a number of fire extinguishers were over a year out of date and others had ‘condemned’ written on them.

The issue of fire safety was raised repeatedly by the Greenfell Action Group in the years since, including a blog from November 20, 2016, titled KCTMO – Playing with Fire!

The following paragraphs were included in that particular post:

“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.”

“The Grenfell Action Group predict that it won’t be long before the words of this blog come back to haunt the KCTMO management and we will do everything in our power to ensure that those in authority know how long and how appallingly our landlord has ignored their responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their tenants and leaseholders.

They can’t say that they haven’t been warned!”

Another blog post published in the wake of the fire on Wednesday, June 14, served notice of the repeated warnings raised by tenants and includes a link back to all of the previous blog entries about “the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC (Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea)”.

At approximately 8.15am on Wednesday morning, London Ambulance Service reported that over 50 people had been taken to hospital as a result of the fire and that over 100 medics were working at the scene.

Fatalities from the fire have also been confirmed.