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. — Read the rest
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.
It's been a year and a half since London's Grenfell Tower burned and at least 72 people died.
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. — Read the rest
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. — Read the rest
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
London — ground zero for financial shenanigans, money-laundering, and the conversion of housing from a human necessity to an asset-class — has spent decades converting itself to an inert, open-air vault full of status-displaying safe-deposit boxes owned by offshore criminals and oligarchs who "improve" their empty properties with absurd fripperies to make them more flippable come the day that their local warlord purges them and they need the ready cash.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Theresa May, aloof and clueless, decided not to meet victims of the Grenfell tower fire. Her political rival Jeremy Corbyn and the Queen, however, each managed to fit them in. So May, accustomed as she is to politically transparent changes of heart, decided to meet some victims. — Read the rest
The death-toll on London's Grenfell Tower fire continues to mount, it's worth remembering that there are no "natural disasters," only human disasters, created by people who weigh different interests in the balance and create policies based on the way the scales come up.
London's Grenfell Tower, built in the 1970s, is 27 stories tall and the subject of years of desperate complaints by its residents concerning safety. Last night it was completely consumed by fire, claiming the lives of at least twelve residents and sending hundreds more to hospital. — Read the rest