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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

London fire: How residents’ group warned of ‘catastrophic event’ 7 months ago

London fire: How residents’ group warned of ‘catastrophic event’ 7 months ago

A residents association, Grenfell Action Group, gave warnings of a potential “catastrophic event” seven months before Wednesday’s massive fire incident at a tower block in north Kensington, London.

The fire has resulted in the hospitalisation of fifty persons and an unspecified number of fatalities, according to London fire chief, Dany Cotton.

In series of blog posts, Grenfell Action Group had highlighted the dangerous living conditions of residents of the building.

The group had accused the overseers, KCTMO, of being incompetent and inept, saying they had no business being in charge of “a large scale social housing estate”.

“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,” one of the blog posts read in part.

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“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.”

The residents’ group went as far as saying that only a serious incident resulting in loss of life will expose the “poor safety record” of KCTMO.

“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.

“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.

“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.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said questions will need to be answered over the safety of tower blocks.

“These questions are really important questions that need to be answered,” Khan said.

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“Across London we have many, many tower blocks and what we can’t have is a situation where people’s safety is put at risk because of bad advice being given or if it is the case, as has been alleged, of tower blocks not being properly serviced or maintained.”

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