Grenfell Tower Fire, a long-coming consequence of negligence

Published by Brian Ò'Sùilleabhàin on

During the morning hours of June 14th 2017 a fire broke out in the 24 story apartment building, Grenfell Tower which housed 400 to 550 people. The fire started in the lower floors of the building at 12:54am before spreading quickly through the building, trapping the residents.The fire alarms did not go off so residents were trapped in the building. Currently there are 79 people who are thought to be either missing or dead. 200 firefighters along with 40 engines were dispatched. The fire was put under control as they were able to battle their way up to the top floor.


Multiple reports depict a harrowing picture of the situation. Eyewitnesses stated that the plume of smoke from the fire was viewable several miles away, with some news sources saying that onlookers would say that the fire looked like “hell on earth”. As time went on, the situation worsened with reports of people desperately trying to escape the building. One example including a baby being thrown from the ninth story to be caught by someone below. There were also videos taken by people in the apartment buildings themselves during the early hours of the morning before emergency services arrived. Screams from the other flats could be heard. Firefighters who went into the buildings recounted these reports, talking about people screaming for help.


In the aftermath, an investigation of the interior was expected to be undertaken. Unfortunately, the chances of finding survivors was very low. Those who survived were left with nothing more than the clothes on their back. Thankfully, these people are receiving help from members of the community along with charities who have provided food, water and shelter for the evacuees. These acts of charity are powerful and are exactly what these people need after what they have experienced. However, there has also been a lot of anger. Some of it has been directed at the government as well as the owners of Grenfell Towers, KCTMO, due to a multitude of problems that have been highlighted by the Grenfell Action Group and the recent cladding that was added during a refurbishment done in 2016, it is thought that the new cladding allowed the fire to engulf the building so quick.

Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged that a proper investigation into the fire will be launched and that lessons will be learned as well as action being taken. As good as this is, certain action should have been taken when people were warning about fire hazards in the past. Instead, the inevitable happened and a disaster exposed the lack of care expressed by the owners of Grenfell Tower. It is like There are likely many other apartment blocks that are just as hazardous if not worse than the Grenfell Tower, and there is a chance of this incident occurring again. Only time will tell if effective action will be taken after this event and whether or not warnings from people in apartments of a similar design, will be heeded.