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Thursday24 August 2017

Huge fire rips through London tower block

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Fatalies reported as north Kensington’s Grenfell Tower hit by blaze overnight

Grenfell Tower fire

Source: PA

A huge fire has ripped through a tower block in west London overnight.

The fire at 27-storey Grenfell Tower in north Kensington has been called a ‘major incident’ by the London Fire Brigade.

London fire commissioner Dany Cotton has said there have been some fatalities.

She added that the cause of the fire has not been determined as yet.

The London Fire Brigade said the fire was between the 2nd and and 27th floors at the 1970s tower block. Forty fire engines and over 200 firefighters attended.

Around 30 people have been taken to hospital and emergency services continue to operate at the scene.

The tower had received a £10m refurbishment, including new windows and cladding, a new efficient communal heating system and bespoke smoke extract and ventilation system were fitted, completed last year.

The works, carried out by Rydon also included extensive remodelling of the bottom four floors, which created nine additional new homes and improved spaces for two local businesses.

The building is managed by Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) on behalf of the council.

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Readers' comments (9)

  • See those terrible images, the thing that really is obvious is the inability of the Fire Service to reach anything above the 10th floor with water.

    With all these new residential towers going up, has there been extra investment in giving them the means to properly fight this type of fire?

    Does a technology exist that can safeguard the people living in these hi-density highrise buildings?

    My understanding was like every other public service, they have been cut to the bone.

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  • My heart goes out to all of the people caught up in this.
    Big question mark over the nature of the new cladding, judging from images of the fire in progress, looks like a major contributory factor in spread of flame on the exterior of the building.

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  • I am Alex

    This will surely have widespread implications on the future of EWI and over clad schemes in the same way that Ronan Point did on construction of high-rise buildings. Awful to see this happen. Thought are with those involved, both residents and first responders.

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  • Sumita Singha

    More will emerge in time. I can smell the 'plasticky' whiff from where I am in West London, so large scale ramifications will also emerge. From what the residents say, apart from the cladding and the faulty electrics, the landlords- RBKC- the richest borough in the country, did not install communal mains connected fire alarms. Residents had started a blog as long as 2013, warning of a fire. As the fire started externally, with windows closed and residents asleep, this became even more tragic. Heads must roll over this!

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  • @sumita................More will emerge in time................
    best give it time then and not churn the rumour mill.

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  • Horrible, tragic thing to happen. Can't even imagine. Avoidable? We will see in the next few days.

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  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    Going around knocking on doors for the General Election, I had the opportunity to study the planning of many tower blocks. In many cases there was only one means of escape, flammable materials and objects were being stored in the fire lobbies (including, on one case, a moped!) and the doors were either not closing and sealing properly or the closers had been disabled and the doors left standing permanently open. Nobody seems to be checking.

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  • Arnie Jacobskracher

    Brings back memories, not just of Ronan Point but of the awful Summerland fire in Isle of Man in 1973. A rethink of materials and regulations were needed then, probably we will need to have that all again. Thoughts and prayers go out to all involved. The poor architects and builders too, what a terrible shock to wake up this morning to hear of this.

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  • ...not much information to base a judgement on cause or speed of spread. In the meantime, building professionals can double check fire spread measures in their projects, particularly in rainscreen cladding cavities. The devastation speaks for itself....

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