In the early hours of Wednesday, the 14th of June 2017, 72 people died after a huge fire engulfed Grenfell Tower. 255 people survived but most became homeless. I think that some choices in this incident were appalling, such as Theresa May’s reaction and the new cladding which helped the fire to spread. I would like to discuss this because I live in a flat and that could have been me. I am grateful that it wasn’t me, but I am heartbroken for all the losses.
1. How it started
According to Dr. Niamh Nic Daéid, the fire began in a fridge. Behailu Kebede, who lived in one of the flats, went into the kitchen and saw smoke in the area of the fridge. At 00:54, he called the fire brigade and five minutes later, four fire engines arrive at the tower. At 01:07, the first fire crew entered the tower but didn’t proceed into the kitchen until 7 minutes past. The fire crew captured thermal images and saw hot fire gases and flames that eventually spread to the outside of the building.
2. Theresa May's reaction
Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were both at the scene of the Grenfell Tower, but many have different views on what they did. May did not spend time with the victims of the incident, making it appear as if she did not care. She has now said that she will "always regret" her response. In contrast, Jeremy Corbyn was with the victims and neighbours. Jeremy Corbyn hugged Councillor Mushtaq Lasharie when he was at St Clement's Church, where homeless Grenfell citizens got aid. Stormzy, like many others, is very passionate about the way the Grenfell Tower fire was taken care of by the government.
3. The tower wasn't expensive
The building had been upgraded with a new cladding system. The cladding featured panels with alternating windows. The building’s cladding was apparently more flammable than a match in petrol so this building was not constructed properly, but rather quickly to save money.
4. Who was affected?
This devastating event killed 72 and left many people homeless. One person jumped 15 floors from the tower to the street. Mother and daughter Victoria King, 71, and Alexandra Atala, 40, Ligaya Moore, 78, Husband and wife Abdulaziz, 52, and Faouzia El Wahabi, 42, and their three children Yasin, 20, Nur Huda, 15, and Mehdi, eight. Many more people died in the fire, while 255 people escaped. There were 400 to 600 occupants.