On 14th of June, 2017, a fire broke in the Grenfell towers, located in North Kensington, London. The high-rise acted as residential block for civilians and was located in a densely populated area. The fire encompassed the building completely and resulted in 72 accounted deaths and more than 70 who were injured. This accident was a severe tragedy for the entire United Kingdom and was the biggest civil/residential accident that has occurred since World War 2.
The fire resulted in heavy casualties and financial burden upon its residents who had to be relocated and rehabilitated. The fire was controlled after an excruciating 60 hours of effort which included over 250 firemen of the London brigade and over 70 fire-engines that had taken part in the extinguishing efforts made by the authorities. From the accident apart which resulted in civil loss, a lot of aftermath occurrences also took part which included legislative and municipal changes within the law of London crafted to prevent such accidents from taking place in the future. One of these authorities, Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization (KCTMO) also published a safety risk assessment report indicted by the GAG which pointed multiple points of failure for the building in-case of such disasters and yet still the accident claimed over 70 lives.
In the initial assessment by the fire investigation report carried out by the relevant authorities, it was found that the cladding that was installed during the renovation of the Grenfell towers actually acted as a fuel for the fire to burn and apart from the cladding, the insulation also caught fire and added a significant amount of fuel to the fire. The cladding used was a two-coil coated aluminum sheet with a polythene core in between.
In the after math of the disaster, a lot of people were displaced and multiple investigations came into play with much changes in the general protocol of residential housing complexes such as Grenfell towers.
The aftermath also saw the deployment of fire-marshals to nearby residential blocks as preventive measure for future accidents. This job can also be undertaken by trained professionals who are certified to undertake such responsibilities.
The main cause of the fire was a faulty fridge located on the 4th floor of the Grenfell tower which malfunctioned and caused a fire in its place. The malfunction was reportedly caused by electrical surges in the entire building as it was reported by the residents upon further inquiries. The fire broke out from the fridge/freezer and escaped towards the outer end of the building where the cladding and insulation was located and used the cladding and insulation as a platform or fuel and encompassed the entire building in high-temperature flames. Prior to this disaster, the GAG (Grenfell Action Group) also pointed out major flaws in the building’s infrastructure and commented that in case of a fire, it would be hard for people to escape and that is what exactly happened.
What followed was a series of events ranging from civil ethical malpractice and several criminal investigations being opened in-order to identify the culprits whose inappropriate work caused this disaster in the first place. A lot of 999 calls were received and apart from the 72 dead, 8 additional people claimed insurance by playing the victim card when they were not involved in the accident or had suffered in any way possible.
The criminal investigations were put under inquiry in the name of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization (KCTMO). But due to processing time and the vast area of investigations, the results were not be brought forward until 2021. In the light of this event, a lot of people reported mental and physical trauma which they had to suffer as an aftermath of the event, and similarly a lot of residents were displaced and had to be rehabilitated which was done by presenting amnesties for migrants who may have been residents in the tower.
Furthermore, in the aftermath of the disaster, 72 people died, the building was completely rendered useless at the moment and 3 other residential blocks lost access to hot water as a conjoined boiler that serves as a plant for hot water was also destroyed in the fire.
How Metropolitan Security Services may be able to aid in such scenarios
Metropolitan Security Services has a wide range of operatives and professional officers who are specifically trained for such scenarios and undertake regular check-ups of building where they can provide a complete and comprehensive list of faults and if or any event occurs which may unfold into such a disaster, the officers may be able to stop/report it in time and prevent such disasters which may result in the loss of precious lives and financial damage to the state and owners of the property.