Monday, 10 December, 2018

London high-rise fire death toll rises to 17

Francis Olson | 15 June, 2017, 22:12

It has been suggested that the recently-fitted cladding on the outside of Grenfell may have accelerated the fire, a move rapper Akala said was driven by the wealth divide.

The fire, believed to have been caused by a faulty fridge on the 3rd or 4th floor of the 24-storey block in the North Kensington district in the early hours, engulfed nearly the entire building in just half an hour, eyewitnesses said. Senior fire officials described the progression of the fire as unprecedented.

On Thursday morning, London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said her crews had identified a "number of people, but we know there will be more".

"We're raising £1,000,000 to help the families of who have been devastated by a fire which has destroyed their homes and taken loved ones", the JustGiving page explains.

"The people who died and lost their homes, this happened to them because they are poor", said the MOBO award-winning artist, who resides in the area, in an interview withChannel 4.

The singer isn't the only star who made an appearance near the site - Adele was spotted attending Wednesday night's vigil, comforting those affected by the blaze which killed 12 people and injured dozens more, although this figure is expected to rise. The apartment tower is so huge there is still no exact count of the missing. Structures may need to be erected inside the torched building to make it safe enough to search. "It is also heartening to see the incredible generosity of community volunteers rallying to help those affected by this bad event", she said.

Emergency services battled throughout the day to put the fire out, but late into Wednesday the blackened husk of the building, where up to 600 people are believed to have lived, continued to glow orange because of the flames inside.

Her friend Maseen said: "She lives on the top floor with her two children, who are just three and five". There were other reports of adults jumping.

"Tragically now we are not expecting to find anyone else alive", Cotton told Sky News. "We like to think of ourselves as "roughty, toughty" and heroes - they are heroes - but they have feelings".

The incident in London is absolutely devastating.

Temporary structures will be built inside the block in order to shore it up before more thorough work can begin. The cause of the fire is under investigation, and authorities have refused to speculate on what could have started the blaze.

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Construction for the building was completed in 1974 and it underwent a renovation that was completed in May 2016.

The project included installing insulated exterior cladding, double-glazed windows and a communal heating system.

But Kostas Tsavdaridis, associate professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Leeds warned: "Some materials used in facades act as significant fire loads".

"I anticipate London Fire Brigade will be on scene here for many days to come", she said.

Details are still emerging about the desperate attempts made by residents to escape the high-rise, as well as questions about whether safety regulations were neglected by local authorities in the run-up to the fire. "I checked around and saw the flames".

At the start of the special meeting in Westminster's Grand Committee Room, Fire Minister Nick Hurd said: "What we are dealing with here is a national tragedy".

Many questions are still unanswered, chief among them, how the fire spread so quickly. "It had completely spread within half an hour".

Laminated signs bearing the phone number for a missing persons hotline are tied to the fence. The church is also serving lunch and dinner to survivors.

One man wrote "our loss is heaven's gain" amid hundreds of touching messages. One heaving table at a church came with a note: "Help yourself".

The Children of Adam team drove down to the scene of the fire in north Kensington yesterday afternoon, Wednesday June 14, and spent the evening giving out blankets, clothes, toys and other donations to those displaced by the fire.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver offered free meals at his restaurant close by in Westfield yesterday and Rita Ora sending her prayers.

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