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Tower Block Fire

ProssPross Posts: 22,152
edited December 2018 in The cake stop
Watching the shocking scenes in West London. It looks absolutely horrendous and one of the worst nightmares. Hopefully everyone got out but I seriously doubt it especially with the reports of people jumping from higher floors. I'm amazed that with current regulations it spread so quickly and fiercely, something seems to have gone badly wrong.
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  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Yes - very shocking. I hope as many people as possible are safe but it looks pretty frightening
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  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    holy censored ... that's terrible, I didn't think something ike that was possible in these days I would have though it would have been contained to a single floor whilst the fire brigade dealt with it.
  • city_boycity_boy Posts: 1,616
    Tragic...fatalities have now been confirmed.

    According to BBC reports, concerns over fire safety were raised during recent refurbishment works:

    The local Grenfell Action Group had claimed, before and during the refurbishment, the block constituted a fire risk and residents had warned that access to the site for emergency vehicles was "severely restricted"
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  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,630
    City Boy wrote:
    Tragic...fatalities have now been confirmed.

    According to BBC reports, concerns over fire safety were raised during recent refurbishment works:

    The local Grenfell Action Group had claimed, before and during the refurbishment, the block constituted a fire risk and residents had warned that access to the site for emergency vehicles was "severely restricted"

    https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.c ... -fire/amp/
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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,744 Lives Here
    edited June 2017
    Yeah all that publicity and public outcry about that is rather mustard after the meal.
  • craigus89craigus89 Posts: 861
    Pross wrote:
    Watching the shocking scenes in West London. It looks absolutely horrendous and one of the worst nightmares. Hopefully everyone got out but I seriously doubt it especially with the reports of people jumping from higher floors. I'm amazed that with current regulations it spread so quickly and fiercely, something seems to have gone badly wrong.

    It's always the case with these things though that new builds have to meet the regulations, but older buildings don't meet them.

    It seems this particular block was refurbished a year ago, so any part of it that was changed would have to be done properly, whether it was or not is another question. But blocks such as this that haven't been refurbed are often incredibly dangerous and I'm surprised that this doesn't happen more often.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
    thats a shocking report but looks like it was never acted on, no surprise there.

    why is the advice to stay in your flat and await the fire service? esp as they seem to only have equipment to get water half way up the tower block.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,164
    Awful news. Sounds like some people are going to go to jail for these failings in safety too. I really thought a disaster like this couldn't happen in Modern Britain - but you do hear the moans about 'Elf and Safety' - turns out that's really important.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
    fenix wrote:
    Awful news. Sounds like some people are going to go to jail for these failings in safety too. I really thought a disaster like this couldn't happen in Modern Britain - but you do hear the moans about 'Elf and Safety' - turns out that's really important.

    that ll be a first.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,744 Lives Here
    mamba80 wrote:
    thats a shocking report but looks like it was never acted on, no surprise there.

    why is the advice to stay in your flat and await the fire service? esp as they seem to only have equipment to get water half way up the tower block.

    So this is the safest approach, on the assumption the usual fire preventers work - sprinklers etc.

    In this instance they appear to not have been either installed, were disabled, or faulty.

    Reports are most residents who survived were woken up by screams and smoke, not by a fire alarm.
  • capt_slogcapt_slog Posts: 3,268
    edited June 2017
    mamba80 wrote:
    fenix wrote:
    Awful news. Sounds like some people are going to go to jail for these failings in safety too. I really thought a disaster like this couldn't happen in Modern Britain - but you do hear the moans about 'Elf and Safety' - turns out that's really important.

    that ll be a first.

    No. Corporate manslaughter jails people. This was one of the first i found...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/your ... cases.html

    Edit: Admittedly, most of them are fines, apart from Mr Kite.


    The older I get, the better I was.

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,839
    City Boy wrote:
    Tragic...fatalities have now been confirmed.

    According to BBC reports, concerns over fire safety were raised during recent refurbishment works:

    The local Grenfell Action Group had claimed, before and during the refurbishment, the block constituted a fire risk and residents had warned that access to the site for emergency vehicles was "severely restricted"

    https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.c ... -fire/amp/

    That blog post is remarkably prophetic in its accuracy. There are several other blocks in the vicinity and I can't imagine those residents will be particularly keen on remaining there now, either...
  • ProssPross Posts: 22,152
    fenix wrote:
    Awful news. Sounds like some people are going to go to jail for these failings in safety too. I really thought a disaster like this couldn't happen in Modern Britain - but you do hear the moans about 'Elf and Safety' - turns out that's really important.

    Yep, if half the comments regarding smoke alarms etc. are true not to mention that report then there will rightly be some corporate manslaughter cases coming out of this. I'm really struggling to understand the speed it went up at, I suspect there will be dozens of fatalities as anyone who didn't get out of the top half quickly is unlikely to have survived.
  • ProssPross Posts: 22,152
    mamba80 wrote:
    thats a shocking report but looks like it was never acted on, no surprise there.

    why is the advice to stay in your flat and await the fire service? esp as they seem to only have equipment to get water half way up the tower block.

    As Rick said, it should be safer than battling down stairwells in a fire. Not just the flames but the risk of being trampled in a panic (and obstructing fire fighters trying to get up the stairs). I think the fire doors are supposed to protect for at least an hour but seem to have failed spectacularly here.
  • capt_slogcapt_slog Posts: 3,268
    Pross wrote:
    mamba80 wrote:
    thats a shocking report but looks like it was never acted on, no surprise there.

    why is the advice to stay in your flat and await the fire service? esp as they seem to only have equipment to get water half way up the tower block.

    As Rick said, it should be safer than battling down stairwells in a fire. Not just the flames but the risk of being trampled in a panic (and obstructing fire fighters trying to get up the stairs). I think the fire doors are supposed to protect for at least an hour but seem to have failed spectacularly here.

    I think I'd be making a run for it.


    The older I get, the better I was.

  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 7,213
    It's an old 60s/70s block that has been refurbished with insulation and then cladding on the outside of the original concrete panels. As far as I understand.

    In it's original guise, any fire would be contained on the floor on which it started. Only now, because the fire is on the outside of the building, it is entering through windows and spreading from floor to floor. So the advice of "in the event of a fire, remain in your flat" no longer holds any water.

    Terrible.
    Ben

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  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
      Pross wrote:
      mamba80 wrote:
      thats a shocking report but looks like it was never acted on, no surprise there.

      why is the advice to stay in your flat and await the fire service? esp as they seem to only have equipment to get water half way up the tower block.

      As Rick said, it should be safer than battling down stairwells in a fire. Not just the flames but the risk of being trampled in a panic (and obstructing fire fighters trying to get up the stairs). I think the fire doors are supposed to protect for at least an hour but seem to have failed spectacularly here.

      when i lived in a block of flats in stockholm, the advice was to get hell out, dont take anything, walk dont run, dont use lifts.

      Same as when i go to any office block in the UK, its "your sponsor will collect you, you ll be escorted to the outside fire point etc" no one has ever said stay put until the fire service arrive, these could be offices with a 1000 or so people in them.

      500 people lived over 24 floors, surely the stair well could take that number? got to better than taking your chances in a smoked filled room or chucking your kids out the window in the vain hope they ll survive?

      If it werent such a horrific incident, i d bet on that no one goes to jail over this, let alone the politicians who have presided over cuts to fire service and out sourcing of council housing services to a private management company.

      yet again some d1ck is saying we ve the best fire service in the world.... dont they ever fcuking learn?
    • FocusZingFocusZing Posts: 4,416
      A drone which can carry one person would be good. Hover 10 metres from the building, shoot a rope through the window, put on a harness and jump out.
    • fenixfenix Posts: 5,164
      Yeah so would time travel....
    • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
      FocusZing wrote:
      A drone which can carry one person would be good. Hover 10 metres from the building, shoot a rope through the window, put on a harness and jump out.

      yeah take the p1ss out of so many people who have died wont you.
    • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,839
      FocusZing wrote:
      A drone which can carry one person would be good. Hover 10 metres from the building, shoot a rope through the window, put on a harness and jump out.

      Or even an actual helicopter, which could carry more than one person? FFS, get a grip.
    • FocusZingFocusZing Posts: 4,416
      No. I just feel terribly sorry for people suck who can't get out. With a helicopter the rescue pilot and crew is risked.
    • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 9,868
      FocusZing wrote:
      No. I just feel terribly sorry for people suck who can't get out. With a helicopter the rescue pilot and crew is risked.

      from memory (9/11) they can not use helicopters because of the up-draft from the fire.
    • mamba80 wrote:
      let alone the politicians who have presided over cuts to fire service

      yet again some d1ck is saying we ve the best fire service in the world.... dont they ever fcuking learn?

      The fire service arrived 6 minutes after the first call was made.

      Forty fire engines, and around 200 firefighters were takling the blaze.

      I suspect you would not be happy until there is a team of firefighters based 24x7 in every highrise building!

      There are going to be people to blame for this but the coverage the fire service provides is not one of them.
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    • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 3,980
      So would a properly refurbished building with working fire alarms, sprinklers, passive fire protection, etc. It shouldn't have happened. It's a kind of modern day Woolworths. There will be some form of change to building control, design or other related matter coming off the back of this disaster.

      Corporate manslaughter would require someone with culpability surely. If there isn't evidence of a senior manager's hand on the tiller you can't convict for this.

      Unfortunately it is very easy to moan about there not being justice but unfortunately this is justice. Just not natural justice as often wanted straight after some terrible disaster or crime. Justice is blind they say. Image of a woman blindfolded holding the scales of justice and sword representing punishment. Do you really want her to lift up the metaphorical blindfold for headline cases?
    • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
      FocusZing wrote:
      No. I just feel terribly sorry for people suck who can't get out. With a helicopter the rescue pilot and crew is risked.

      from memory (9/11) they can not use helicopters because of the up-draft from the fire.

      Yup - I know very little about helicopters but talked a lot to my brother who got his licence a couple of years about. You'd need to be flying in the uprush of very hot air in order to save people - it's just not possible is my understanding.

      The normal protection is to have a very secure means of escape and excellent protection of the structure of the building. At least the one seems to have stayed up. But one has to question the flammability of the building materials. 911 was a load of aircraft fuel and materials smashed into the middle of a building. There shouldn't be enough flammable materials in your average flat to burn the building down.
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    • LookyhereLookyhere Posts: 987
      mamba80 wrote:
      let alone the politicians who have presided over cuts to fire service

      yet again some d1ck is saying we ve the best fire service in the world.... dont they ever fcuking learn?

      The fire service arrived 6 minutes after the first call was made.

      Forty fire engines, and around 200 firefighters were takling the blaze.

      I suspect you would not be happy until there is a team of firefighters based 24x7 in every highrise building!

      There are going to be people to blame for this but the coverage the fire service provides is not one of them.

      It appears that there is no local specialist equipment, as it didnt arrive until 3am, even now, they dont seem to have any means to get water above the 12th floor.

      Are you saying that cuts to council services have not contributed to this fire.and on what basis?

      Getting 200 fire fighters there without the equipment needed is not a sufficient response, however nobody at the moment, inc you or mamb0 know the real reasons or what could have been done differently, what is clear is that the residents complained over many years and got no-where.

      Would this have been the response had the building housed white middle class residents?
    • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,072
      My sympathies to everyone involved. A very sad day.
      Trying to find a silver lining, at least we are not talking terrorists or politics. Oh... :(
      The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
      I am not sure. You have no chance.
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    • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,839
      Lookyhere wrote:
      even now, they dont seem to have any means to get water above the 12th floor.

      The building's own water supply is supposed to accommodate this, but apparently it didn't. Fighting hi-rise fires still remains inherently difficult, but a lack of functioning hydrants within the upper floors will not help.

      The fire service commander on the ground sounds mightily angry in interviews, and probably rightly so..
    • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,630
      Gideon may be pushing a little too far with his 2nd edition front page today. Or perhaps a lot too far.

      Meanwhile, politically, while it's too early to comment on outcomes, May will be feeling a little anxious re-employing Barwell given these events.
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