London fire: company in charge of managing Grenfell Tower 'ignored safety warnings', resident claims

'We repeatedly reported concerns to the tenant management organisation,' David Collins says

Kenza Bryan
Wednesday 14 June 2017 22:04 BST
Resident says council ignored safety fears before deadly blaze

A resident of the London tower block which was devastated in a huge fire has claimed the firm responsible for its management repeatedly ignored safety concerns raised before the blaze.

At least 12 people were killed and 18 left in critical care after the inferno at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in the west of the capital.

And resident David Collins told the BBC: “We repeatedly reported concerns to the Tenant Management Organisation of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea including fire safety concerns which were not investigated during the regeneration works."

He said there were “concerns over location of boilers, concerns about escapes, concerns about fire escape lighting, the list goes on".

Councillors refused to look into these concerns despite the fact that 90 per cent of residents signed a petition asking for an investigation into the organisation running the building, he added.

The council homes are run by Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Association.

The organisation commented: "We are aware that concerns have been raised historically by residents.

"We always take all concerns seriously and these will form part of our forthcoming investigations.

"While these investigations continue with our co-operation, our core priority at the moment is our residents."

A firefighter is seen among the rubble in the aftermath of a fire at Grenfell Tower
A firefighter is seen among the rubble in the aftermath of a fire at Grenfell Tower (EPA)

A council spokesman said: “We are providing emergency accommodation for those affected by today's fire at Grenfell Tower.

"Our immediate priority is to accommodate the residents of Grenfell Tower, families with young children, the elderly and the vulnerable.

"For those unable to return to their homes in the surrounding area a rest centre has been set up at Westway Sports Centre.

"We are still placing households and housing officers will work throughout the night to provide assistance and support.

“We have heard a number of theories about the cause of the fire at Grenfell Tower.

"All of these will be thoroughly investigated as part of the formal investigation which has already begun.”

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