Grenfell Tower - never again

Pauline Gross
June 20, 2017

Five people have been formally identified after a blaze tore through the residential block last Wednesday in west London, Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said on Monday.

Footage from inside the gutted building has been released, showing the extent of the damage. Residents needed personal reassurance rather than a television appearance days after the blaze while any survivor who was well enough to watch the news was unlikely to have been awake at almost 11pm.

He also offered the rather grim grain of comfort that when there have been fires in Dundee's own multi-storey blocks that have reached the cladding, the flames did not spread as happened in London. More than 100 people stormed the town hall Friday in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea with a list of demands following the devastating tower block fire.

With many celebrating the annual tradition across Ireland and the United Kingdom, those who survived the blaze that ripped through the 27 storey building on Tuesday night were left in tears as the search for the missing residents continues.

"Angry not simply at the poor response in the days afterwards from the council and the government, but the years of neglect from the council and from successive governments".

But Jayesh Kunwardia, partner at London law firm Hodge Jones & Allen, says a lack of clarity over housing policy means many fear being made permanently homeless.

Croydon's tallest buildings will be fitted with fire sprinklers.

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Three more victims killed in the Grenfell Tower disaster have been named, after Scotland Yard announced the death toll had risen to 79.

The disaster has seen councils up and down the county, including Dundee's, take steps to reassure those living in the their own tower blocks about safety standards.

The fire has come at a particularly hard time for Prime Minister Theresa May, who was weakened by the loss of her parliamentary majority in a June 8 election and faces arduous talks on Britain's exit from the European Union. Since their block was evacuated she had slept in several places, including her vehicle.

Theresa May, who has faced criticism for her response to the tragedy in North Kensington, said: As we continue to respond to the needs of the community, our focus is on ensuring that all of those affected by this unimaginable tragedy get the right support as quickly as possible.

"I do understand for the people of Grenfell Tower that is no consolation, but if we were to change that advice now and have everyone evacuating through single staircases, it would cause more problems and more injuries".

"We are therefore asking local authorities and other registered providers of social housing to identify whether any panels used in new-build or refurbishment are a particular type of cladding made of aluminium composite material (ACM)".

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