A fire at Grenfell Tower on June 14, a 24-storey public housing high rise in London, England,
has killed at least 72 residents who became trapped in the building. The real number will certainly be higher, as the mainstream media and authorities are being accused of covering up the true number of casualties.
What should be understood about Grenfell Tower is that it is a low-income housing tower located in North Kensington, on the western edge of Inner London, surrounded by rich neighbourhoods.
Grenfell Tower residents had already organized as an association called Grenfell Action Group and repeatedly raised fire safety concerns with the property management, Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization (KCTMO), for years before the fire. No action was taken.
In 2013, a series of terrifying power surges was experienced for weeks in the building to the extent that smoke was coming out of electrical appliances and light fixtures. Many electronics and appliances were destroyed by the surges, and the issue was never resolved to the residents' satisfaction. Ongoing complaints and calls for fire safety improvements were ignored by KCTMO.
There was a single staircase running through the entire 24-storey building, 120 apartments, with one entrance and one exit. There was no sprinkler system, fire extinguishers were outdated, stairwells were filled with garbage and old mattresses, and residents reported hearing no fire alarms to alert them to the fire.
The only instructions residents had ever received from property management was to stay in their apartments in case of a fire.
Recently, the building was given a 8.7 million pound "facelift" so the area's rich residents wouldn't have to put up with an eyesore. New paneling was put on the exterior of the tower to "prettify" the building, and it is being said that the type of paneling used contributed to the fire, spreading it along the outside of the building and ensuring that residents became trapped inside.
It has since been revealed that the flammable paneling used is actually banned in the U.S., Europe, and the U.K. The flammable version was used to save money.
These are the unfortunately, tragically, prophetic words from the Grenfell Action Group in a post from November 2016:
"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."
A list of previous blogs by the Grenfell Action Group has also been posted, outlining its multiple calls to property management to take action on safety issues, all of which fell on deaf ears.