This is something very different for my blog, but as I sit here and watch the Grenfell tower block burning on television this morning, it seems important that this awful prophetic blog post is shared. I can’t comment on claims made in this post – the opinions expressed are not mine.
2 thoughts on “The Grenfell tower fire: prophetic blog post from 2016 “KCTMO – Playing with fire!””
As an ex block manager, I can say with conviction that this is exactly the result of building owners skimping on quality management companies or in this case, management companies not advocating for the best interests of the residents to their owner clients because they are basically just puppets of the owners. The management company responsible appears to exist just to manage that local authorities council buildings. They will try to scapegoat the individual property manager assigned to the building to avoid showing how the entire system, from government policy to local authority owner to the management company who are the ‘face’ of the local authority owner is all set up in a way which devalues the lives of the poor or vulnerable and lines the pockets of people with power.
Tower blocks have specificly high risk of fire fatality, in depth analysis has been done of previous tower block fires and the knowledge of how to minimize risk is widely and easily available. Any competent management company should be fully aware of this and prioritizing minimizing these risks.
My thoughts go out to those killed and injured in this avoidable an near inevitable tragedy.
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Hi Jade, thanks for sharing!
As an ex nurse I remember the regular fire training and evacuation procedures that we had to do at least yearly……but members of the public living in flats will not have fire training, and from the way in which this fire appeared to spread, the “compartments” that a fire officer would have trained us to move into did not exist in this ’70s building. I think that often the uncertainty of the “human” response in a disaster situation is forgotten – every individual finding themselves caught up in a fire or a tsunami will behave differently. And this might not be how we think we would behave.
It is devastating that the analysis undertaken following the 2009 tower block fire was not observed and that it appears the “renovation” of this tower has probably literally added fuel to this fire. It is unbelievable that so many were aware of this disaster waiting to happen and yet those in authority chose to cut corners and ignore warnings. Someone has to be held accountable, and as you say, this should not be the easiest individual who can be made a scape goat. I wonder who has been carrying out the “mandatory” fire and safety checks that the local authority is required to carry out?
I worked in this area of London and visited this community with district nurses – a diverse community where pockets of enormous wealth sit shoulder to shoulder with pockets of need and vulnerability. It was the latter group who I warmed to!!
This is a community with a very tough & public grieving process ahead of them.
Like you, my thoughts go out to them all as the role call of survivors & dead becomes more apparent a day on.