Grenfell Tower fire: Government considering covering charred shell in tarpaulin

Grenfell Response Team said local residents' views are being considered

Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Thursday 13 July 2017 00:01
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'We know people who were in there. Everytime I look at it it reminds me,' one resident says
'We know people who were in there. Everytime I look at it it reminds me,' one resident says

The Government is considering covering Grenfell Tower in tarpaulin to shield residents from the charred shell that serves as daily reminder of the devastating fire.

Grenfell Response Team (GRT) said it would consider the viability of covering the tower one month on from the tragedy, after the local community asked for something to be done to obscure their view.

"Views from local residents are being considered on the viability of covering the Grenfell Tower in tarpaulin. Any final decision will need to consider its impact on the critical recovery operation being undertaken by the Metropolitan Police Service and London Fire Brigade," a statement read.

But Hilary Patel, GRT community engagement lead, told a public meeting on Wednesday a viable solution to cover the building has not yet been found.

She said authorities are looking at ways to protect and cover the building, but that it would take time and was unlikely to happen until October, once the recovery operation is complete.

Residents were told that covering the 24-storey block could alter the humidity and sensitive conditions inside, which could interfere with the investigation.

They were also told scaffolding was not yet an option, as it would need to be fixed to the middle of the building, which could also interfere with recovery efforts.

But survivors told the panel at the heated meeting in north Kensington that their children were traumatised looking up at the charred building every day.

One resident from the local community said: "All our kids are traumatised and they are still having to walk past this building, asking us questions that we can’t answer."

Residents of the nearby Lancaster West estate told The Independent last month the hollowed-out shell of the tower that looms over the surrounding area serves as a morbid and ghostly reminder of what happened.

Mother-of-two Fortuna said: "Everything makes us worry now. Today it was them, tomorrow it could be us," she said. "We know people who were in there. Everytime I look at it it reminds me."

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "The block needs to be tore down. It’s haunting, there used to be faces in those windows."

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