London residents warned of fire safety scams after Grenfell Tower tragedy

Intruders posing as fire officers requested access to all of the flats in a tower block

Rachael Revesz
Sunday 30 July 2017 10:23
At least 80 people are so far known to have died on 14 June in the tower block
At least 80 people are so far known to have died on 14 June in the tower block

Authorities have warned London residents about people posing as fire safety officers to break into flats after the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Residents in a tower block in Camden reportedly received notes from intruders, demanding access to their homes on a specified date to carry out safety checks.

Camden Borough Council and the London Fire Brigade confirmed the checks had not been authorised by officials.

The alleged intruders have been accused of exploiting vulnerable resident’s concerns after a devastating fire killed at least 80 people in Kensington.

“Dear Resident,” the note read. “As a precaution against fire, a Fire Officer has requested for access to all rooms and flats on Saturday 22nd July 2017.

“You cooperation in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.”

Moyra Samuels, one of the co-founders of campaign group Justice 4 Grenfell, condemned the “tricksters”.

“It is absolutely despicable to use an atrocity like Grenfell Tower to prey on vulnerable people when people are so scared,” she told the Evening Standard.

The local authority said it sent out alerts to housing companies and charities to warn people about the scam.

Reasonable grounds to suspect corporate manslaughter, say Grenfell Tower police

Camden was the first authority in the capital to evacuate residents from tower blocks due to fears about the safety of the buildings.

The Government announced it will carry out an independent review into building regulations and fire safety to examine the potential role of flammable cladding in the tragedy.

Police announced this week that they have “reasonable grounds” to proceed with corporate manslaughter charges after a series of failings regarding the refurbishment of the building, the dismissal of residents’ concerns before the fire and the botched council attempts to co-ordinate rescue and relief efforts afterwards.

Council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown and his deputy Rock Feilding-Mellen resigned following continued criticism, and Robert Black, chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, also stepped down.

Authorities said they may never be able to identify some of the victims from 14 June due to the intensity of the blaze.

The tower is will be covered next month, and will not be demolished until late 2018.

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