Wow. This is insane! •••
'Resident, Mohammed Bouya, said he could hear people screaming for help from their windows. Firefighters told them to stay where they were, he said. The so-called stay-put policy is not uncommon for British high-rises, but the resident association had complained about it, saying that it would hinder escape in the event of a fire. Nonetheless, the management company had recently posted fire safety instructions — including the stay-put policy — at the building’s entrance and outside elevators on every floor.
While police and fire officials said the investigation had just begun, a residents’ association, the Grenfell Action Group, noted that it had warned for years about fire hazards and what it called inattention by the local council, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which owns the building, and by the company the council hired to manage the property. The group warned in 2013 that residents had “experienced a period of terrifying power surges that were subsequently found to have been caused by faulty wiring,” and that “our attempts to highlight the seriousness of this event were covered up” by the management company and the council. In November, the group warned that the management company, Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization, had put the building at risk of “a serious fire.” When the renovation was announced in 2014, the management organization said in a statement that “residents of the tower have long had to put up with a substandard heating system and poor insulation,” and that a new heating system would allow them to set the temperature in their apartments. The building was populated by many immigrants, from countries that included Eritrea, the Philippines, Somalia and Sudan. Many were observing Ramadan and preparing or eating suhoor, the predawn meal.' -- Excerpts from @nytimes
@bbcnews video repost from @chakabars