grenfell

Two years after the Grenfell fire, survivors project warnings on similar tower blocks

Survivors of London's Grenfell fire, where 72 perished in a tower block with no sprinklers but lots of flammable cladding, are projecting messages on similarly-unsafe buildings in the UK.

The BBC reports that one of the towers, Frinstead House, is a "stone's throw" from Grenfell and still has no fire sprinklers.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council, which took over management of the high-rise in March last year, said its staff had met residents to talk about sprinklers and other fire safety measures.

It said there was a fire safety programme under way across its borough and it was "seeking clear guidance and recommendations from central government on fire safety systems".

The inferno highlighted Britain's shoddy safety standards and the dangers of cladding, often installed on older towers to make them appear more modern. In response, the government banned combustible cladding and mandated sprinklers, but only in new construction: "Building owners are ultimately responsible for the safety of the building and it is for them to decide whether to retro-fit sprinklers."

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On Grenfell's second anniversary, 60,000 Britons are still living in firetraps clad in the same deadly, decorative materials

It's been two years since the Grenfell tower block in north Kensington burned, killing at least 72 people: the blaze revealed deep corruption and indifference among Britain's richest people and the millionaire Conservative politicians who do their business in Parliament, from the fact that the highly flammable cladding responsible for the blaze was added so that the building would be more attractive to rich people in nearby luxury tower blocks, to the fact that the fire came five years after Tory PM David Cameron declared war on "safety culture" to the fact that Tory politicians (overwhelming landlords themselves) had voted down a bill to require landlords to ensure that the properties they rented were safe and "fit for human habitation", to the fact that local Tory councillors had deliberately chosen a more fire-prone cladding to save 5.7% on the cost of materials -- the same local government that forced Grenfell survivors to bid against each other for new homes and then paid the same company that installed the flammable cladding to replace it. Read the rest

Company behind the Grenfell Tower fire says it could have been put out with a simple fire extinguisher

It's been a year and a half since London's Grenfell Tower burned and at least 72 people died. Read the rest

Five arrested in UK after burning Grenfell Tower model on bonfire

Seventy-two people, many of them poor people of color, died in Grenfell Tower when the shoddily-maintained tower went up in flames last year. Five men were arrested today in Britain after putting a model of the building, complete with dark-skinned inhabitants, on a bonfire.

A video shared on social media shows a cardboard model of the tower being set alight by a laughing crowd. The Metropolitan Police said the men - two aged 49 and the others aged 19, 46 and 55 - handed themselves in at a south London station on Monday night. Prime Minister Theresa May had called the video "utterly unacceptable". The footage shows a large model bearing a Grenfell Tower sign, complete with paper figures at the windows, being set on fire. Laughter can be heard off camera as the effigy is set alight, with onlookers shouting "Help me! Help me!" and "Jump out the window!". As the blaze takes hold, a voice can be heard to say "All the little ninjas getting it at the minute"

Those "public order" offenses seem an English shame culture thing. The law is vague, so sometimes (as in the case of leering racist sociopaths burning effigies in public) an example must be made when shame fails in the absense of guilt. Read the rest

How the Grenfell fire spread

Dozens of people were killed and injured when London's Grenfell Tower went up in flames last year. The fire spread under dangerous ornamental cladding designed to make the aging structure, which lacked sprinkers, look modern. The BBC made a set of graphics to show the terrible speed of the blaze, which leapt up through 20 apartments within 10 minutes.

A resident of flat 195 on the 22nd floor called emergency services to describe smelling smoke, but was advised to "stay inside and keep your door and windows shut".

They kept telling them to stay put for nearly two hours. 72 dead. Read the rest

The company that made Grenfell Tower's flammable, poisonous insulation used dangerous lies to make hundreds of sales

Celotex convinced the owners of Grenfell Tower and hundreds of other buildings in the UK to insulate with their RS5000 insulation product -- a product that had never passed safety tests. The company claimed it was safe for use because a different version of RS5000 (one that used much more flame-retardant) had been through the tests. Read the rest

Leaked Grenfell Towers papers: Tory politicians rejected fireproof cladding proposal for a 5.7% savings

The Grenfell Towers fire was one of the most deadly fires in modern British history, killing at least 72 people, with no way to know how many more may have died. Read the rest

Local UK governments say identifying buildings with Grenfell cladding would be a gift to arsonists and terrorists

The lethal fire at Grenfell tower had many proximate causes, not least the defeat of a bill in Parliament that would have required landlords to render their properties safe and habitable, voted down by Tory MPs who are overwhelmingly landlords themselves. Read the rest

The company that turned Grenfell Tower into a deathtrap reports profits up 50% and anticipates no downside from the disaster

The fire in Grenfell Tower had many causes: Tory MPs protecting their rental incomes by voting down basic tenant safety; the Conservative Party's campaign against "safety culture"; but much of the blood is on the hands of Rydon, the contractor who sheathed the tower in the highly flammable cladding -- and came out on top, winning the contract to undo their work on other towers that had been similarly clad. Read the rest

Leaseholders in building sheathed in flammable Grenfell cladding sent a £2m bill for repairs

In the UK, many people who live in multiunit buildings -- the sort of thing that would be a condo or co-op in the US -- live under the leaseholder/freeholder system, a relic of feudalism that has been updated for the age of inequality thanks to hedge funds and other socially useless financial engineers. Read the rest

After Grenfell, local UK governments pay the developers who chose lethal cladding to replace it

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster (in which a building full of poor people were roasted alive because their homes had been skinned with a highly flammable decorative element that was supposed to make it easier to look at from a nearby luxury neighborhood), local UK governments have scrambled to replace the deadly cladding on other buildings with something a little less fiery. Read the rest

Local council requires Grenfell survivors to bid against each other for new homes

It's been more than two months since a deadly blaze in Kensington, London -- the richest borough in the UK -- killed at least 80 people when the decorative cladding installed to make the building look nicer to rich people in nearby buildings caused the building to go up like a matchstick. Read the rest

"Intellectual property rights" are why UK government won't say which housing failed fire safety test

60 UK tower blocks, including 9 owned by local governments, have failed a new round of more-stringent fire tests conducted in the wake of the Grenfell fire disaster. Read the rest

Theresa May says she won't address climate change at the G20 summit

When the Tories led the UK into its disastrous Brexit referendum, the Conservative cheering squad of Westminster right-wing thinktanks immediately celebrated the impending "wide-ranging … revolution on a scale similar to that of the 1980s" that included "removing unnecessary regulatory burdens on businesses, such as those related to climate directives and investment fund[s]." Read the rest

UK government won't promise help to remove highly flammable high-rise cladding

Theresa May's national government -- Conservative party MPs who are also landlords, who scuttled housing safety rules as part of their declared war on "Safety Culture" -- found £1B to bribe the terrorist-affiliated Young Earth Creationists at the DUP to join them in coalition, but will not guarantee a single penny in funding to local British councils who are racing to remove the extremely flammable high-rise cladding that made the Grenfell Tower blaze into an unstoppable monster whose death toll may never be fully counted. Read the rest

For the first time, Jeremy Corbyn overtakes Theresa May in UK polls

Nearly two weeks after the Tories lost their majority in an own-goal election lost despite the use of allegedly unassailable media-manipulation techniques, Prime Minister Theresa May has been edged out in the polls by Jeremy Corbyn, who is now the person the largest proportion of Britons would like to see in Number 10. Read the rest

2012: Tory Prime Minister David Cameron declares war on "Safety Culture"

The Conservative Party -- and free market ideologues -- have waged a long war on "safety culture," insisting it was a nonsensical, incoherent regulation that acted as a drag on every business except no-win/no-fee lawyers, who exploited these rules to victimise poor corporations with punishing lawsuits. Read the rest

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