Fire Chief in London: Several perished in big fire

London fireSmoke billows from a high-rise apartment building in west London Wednesday, June 14, 2017. A massive fire raced through the building early Wednesday, emergency officials said. (Rick Findler/PA via AP)

Fire Chief in London: Several perished in big fire

The fire department confirms that there are casualties after the fire that hit an apartment building in London on Wednesday. More than 50 people are taken to hospital.

 

– It is with sadness I can confirm that there have been a number of deaths, says Dany Cotton, chief officer in the London Fire Department on Wednesday morning.

– I can not confirm the number at present because of the size and complexity of the building, she adds.

Cotton describes the fire in the 24-storey apartment block as an unparalleled event. During her 29 years in the London Fire Department, she has never experienced a similar disaster caused by fire.

More than 50 people have been transported to five different hospitals as a result of the fire, according to the London ambulance service.

Eyewitnesses have told about people who failed to get out of the building in the Kensington North District, where there reportedly is 120 apartments.

Resident association reported about poor fire safety

Residents of the Grenfell Block of flats in London has for years warned of poor fire safety in municipal housing. Last year a residents’ association warned about dangerous conditions.

– Just a catastrophic event will reveal how inept our landlord is, wrote the organization Grenfell Action Group in november.

In January of 2013, the association warned that urban development plans would make it difficult for fire trucks to reach.

The online newspaper Metro and several other British media have picked up the group’s blog after the block of flats was hit by a catastrophic fire Wednesday morning.

– All our warnings fell for deaf ears and we predicted that a disaster like this was inevitable and just a matter of time, the blog states on Wednesday.

The lease of the 120 apartments is managed by Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization (KCTMO), on behalf of the municipal authorities. It is this organization that is targeted by the criticism.

The building was built in the 1970s and has recently been renovated with new exterior cladding and windows.

Facts about the fire in London

  • The fire at the Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London, was reported at 0.54 am on Wednesday, local time.
  •  There are 120 apartments in the 24 storey tall housing block, all social housing.
  • The apartment building looks in the morning hours of Wednesday to be completely burned out
  • According to the fire chief in London, several are dead and 50 people taken to hospital with injuries after the fire.
  •  Survivors say that there was no fire alarm for the entire building. There seems to be no overview of who is evacuated.

 

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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