Multiple Deaths In London High-Rise Blaze; Residents Had Warned This Could Happen
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A residents association for the west London tower that was caught up in a fatal blaze Tuesday night warned of a risk of a catastrophic fire as far back as 2013, according to numerous media reports.
Emergency services are still responding to the incident, and as of 2 p.m. BST had confirmed there have been six deaths, with the number expected to rise.
The blaze began around 1 a.m. As many as 200 people may have been living in the 120 apartments in the 27-storey building.
Grenfell Tower was built in 1974 and underwent a £10M refurbishment last year. Grenfell Action Group, an association for the residents, said in 2013 that a 2012 fire safety report found some of the fire equipment in the building was faulty, and raised questions about whether fire trucks had room to gain access to the building in the event of a large fire.
They also raised concern about the possibility of power surges causing a blaze. In 2016 the group raised concerns about whether the emergency exits could become blocked in the event of a large-scale fire.
The blog of the association said in 2016: “It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event” would highlight the risks at Grenfell Tower.
“It is our conviction that a serious fire in a tower block or similar high-density residential property is the most likely reason” for any change in the fire safety standards to occur.
The block is owned by the local authority, the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which has yet to respond to the events or reports of resident concerns.