Wednesday 16 January 2019

Spotlight on fire safety in our high-rise blocks

Smoke rises after a fire engulfed Grenfell Tower. Photo: Getty
Smoke rises after a fire engulfed Grenfell Tower. Photo: Getty


After the terror just 10 days ago in London city centre comes the horror of the Grenfell Tower blaze.

Twelve people have already been confirmed killed in the huge fire that ripped through the tower block, but police predict the death toll will rise.

Up to 600 people are believed to have been inside the 120 flats in the tower when the blaze tore through the 24-storey building in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The fire is thought to have broken out on the second floor and more than 250 firefighters worked through the night to rescue residents from their flats.

Ambulance crews had taken 68 people from the scene to hospital and they are being treated in six hospitals across London. An additional 10 people walked into hospital. Eighteen people were being treated in critical care.

The thick pall of dark smoke engulfing the full height of the block was visible across the city.

The fire and ambulance services responded quickly and professionally, putting their own lives at risk to help others.

And the local community rallied round to support those who had lost their homes.

The concern now is for those who are missing and, unfortunately, one fears this tragedy has some ways to go.

The aftermath of the fire will see the spotlight fall firmly on fire safety in high-rise buildings and apartment blocks.

Given the increased density of housing and poor building standards in this country, there are lessons here too.

Irish Independent

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