GRENFELL TRAGEDY: Police confirm 58 residents missing, possibly dead

London – VIJAY SHAH via Twitter

This week, a devastating fire tore through the Grenfell Tower, a residential block located in Kensington, London, causing major loss of life and homelessness in the early hours of June 14, 2017. A fire believed to have originated from an exploding fridge in a fourth-floor flat then spread rapidly through the 1970s tenement, housing mainly poorer Londoners. Aluminium cladding fixed to the outside of Grenfell Tower, which sits on the Lancaster West housing estate, and which was intended to smarten the structure’s appearance, may have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire, trapping families and others behind thick smoke and burning debris.

According to the latest reports coming off of Twitter, London’s police authority, the Metropolitan Police service, believe that 58 Grenfell Tower residents are still missing, presumed deceased. The police force’s commander, Stuart Cundy, announced the figures via the social media website in the past hour. So far around 30 people are known to have died, but Cundy has warned that the figure is expected to rise, as firefighters comb through the gutted tower block.

Searches for the missing and dead were taking place yesterday, but were halted temporarily for safety reasons, but are resuming today. The Met have also promised families of the missing that “…. as soon as we can, we will locate and recover their loved ones”, according to tweeter Molly Hunter.

The government of British prime minister Theresa May has found itself under increasing pressure over its regulations governing safety provisions for the country’s, 4,000 or so tower blocks. Protests have taken place in Kensington itself and in central London demanding answers and justice for the victims.

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

Rupert Rivett‏, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/rupephoto

“Police confirm 58 missing and presumed dead in Grenfell Tower tragedy” – Twitter Moments, Twitter Inc. (17 June 2017) https://twitter.com/i/moments/876088325739757568

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Grenfell Tower fire (wider view).jpg” – Natalie Oxford,  Twitter, Twitter Inc. via Wikipedia (14 June 2017) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Grenfell_Tower_fire_(wider_view).jpg

 

SMOKEY: Dog saves three people from West London apartment fire

A family’s pet dog, ironically named Smokey, has been hailed as a four-legged hero after saving three people from a fire in a block of flats in the west of London, the city’s Evening Standard newspaper reports. The fire broke out at a residential complex in the prestigious Shepherd’s Bush area and the local fire brigade have said that Smokey was partly responsible for helping save the three occupants from the flames.

Smokey, who was given his name by local firefighters, smelt smoke while with his owners at a ground floor flat in Stanlake Road. The smoke alarm in the property failed to go off as the flat began to fill with noxious fumes. The canine hero immediately awoke the two men and one women present at the property at the time, who got up only to find themselves surrounded by smoke and flames. Thanks to Smokey’s rapid actions, the occupants were able to call the emergency services who talked them over the phone as they struggled to stay alive until fire engines could reach the scene. They and their pet dog were eventually rescued and brought out of the flat with no ill-effects apart from shock and smoke inhalation. Five other people in neighbouring flats were also evacuated as a precaution, and all were treated by crews from the London Ambulance Service at the scene.

Dog and human posed by models.

It is not known what caused the fire, but pictures taken by the London Fire Brigade at the flat show a living room with heavy smoke damage. One small red armchair is seen almost completely burned to ashes, with only the front of the armrests still untouched. The smoke alarm installed in the flat, which should have gone off as the smoke took hold, did not operate as the battery was dead. Fire crews have warned London residents to ensure they check their smoke alarms.

A spokeswoman for the brigade said: “The residents of the ground floor flat – where the fire started – were lucky their dog alerted them to the fire as a smoke alarm fitted in the property had no battery in it and did not sound.

Fire engines and crews from stations in Kensington, Hammersmith and North Kensington managed to bring the blaze under control within an hour, preventing flames from spreading to other flats in the Shepherd’s Bush complex. Station Manager Nic Myatt said: “The firefighters’ hard work and quick thinking saved the lives of those they rescued.

Smokey, who appears to be a greyhound cross, also escaped from the flat without coming to harm. It is not known what reward he will receive for his act of bravery.

SOURCES:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/
“Quick-thinking family pet dog ‘Smokey’ saves three from fire at flat in Shepherd’s Bush” – Rachel Blundy, London Evening Standard/Evening Standard Limited (18 November 2014) http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/quickthinking-family-pet-dog-smokey-saves-three-from-fire-at-flat-in-shepherds-bush-9868262.html
IMAGE CREDIT:
Getty Images via Zemanta.