The Grenfell Tower
The Grenfell Tower tragedy was an unfortunate occurrence that claimed the lives of about 72 people and caused injury to many others. The day after the accident, Prime Minister Theresa May ordered in place an inquiry community to find out the cause of the incident which would make it possible to pursue legal action. The investigation involved officers that have specific training in handling such matters. They worked with the British Transport Police, anthropologists, forensic dentists, archaeologists, and London police. The investigation gathered physical exhibits, took statements from witnesses, and looked out for any malicious acts such as manslaughter, breaches of fire safety policies, and misconduct. They used the information to compile a report.
The Grenfell Tower was a North Kensington residential block with 120 blocks. The fire incident caused structural damage to the building rendering it unsuitable for use. At least 200 firefighters and 40 fire engines worked together to put out the fire when it was reported at 00: 54 BST but they were not successful until the next day at 01:14 BST. By then, it had spread to the surrounding areas and destroyed other homes. Even though many people lost their lives in the incident, firefighters managed to save 65 people from the building.
The fire started on the fourth floor in or around a freezer. According to the police, the cause was accidental. In fact, footage showed that the fire started on one side of the building and spread to other parts before covering the entire structure. As a follow up, investigation was done on the Hotpoint FF175B to determine whether or not it needed modification. The investigation found it to be a ‘low risk.’
A factor that may have caused the fire to spread fast was the flammable cladding on the structure. Cladding means applying a material over another one to give a building aesthetic appeal, improve thermal insulation, and weather resistance. The police conducted tests on the cladding and insulation of the building and they failed. They found that the samples for insulation burned a lot quicker than the cladding material.
Engineers involved in the refurbishment of the building may have used aluminium composite material. The material is highly combustible. It melts and flows when temperatures increase. An inquiry report also found that there were vertical openings within the cladding. An insulation board was also another flammable material in the structure. The refurbishment was a part of a general project whose aim was to transform the outlook of the entire area. It also created new homes and improved on community facilities.
Some victims of the fire include; 84-year old Sheila who used to live on the 16th floor, six members of the Choucair family, 2-year old Jeremiah Deen, Isaac Paulos who was five years old, 12-year olds Jessica Urbano-Ramirez and Biruk Haftom, five-year-old Hania Hassan, five members of the El-Wahabi family who were on the 21st floor, and six-month-old LeenaBelkadi. One of the most heartbreaking victims was baby Logan Gomes who was stillborn on the morning after the fire.