Residents Warned Last Year Grenfell Tower Was A Fire Risk

14 June 2017, 04:58 | Updated: 14 June 2017, 07:56

Residents at the 24-storey tower block which went up in flames warned last year that their building was a fire risk.

The Grenfell Action Group wrote of their concern about the health and safety problems with their block of flats during improvement works last year.

In January 2016, they wrote: "It has been very clear for some time to the residents of Grenfell Tower that those responsible for ensuring the smooth running of Lancaster West Estate are failing in their duty of care and wilfully allowing our residential amenity to decline in unacceptable ways.

"Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in our landlords failure to deal with a serious health and safety issue that recently developed at the entrance/exit to Grenfell Tower.

"This matter is of particular concern as there is only one entry and exit to Grenfell Tower during the Improvement Works and the potential for a fire to break out in the communal area on the walkway does not bear thinking about as residents would be trapped in the building with no way out!"

That particular issue was sorted out 18 months ago, but the action group warned: "Not for the first time we must ask how safe is Lancaster West, can staff be trusted to ensure it is safe, and what hidden fire risks might be lurking in Grenfell Tower or elsewhere on the estate?"

In November 2016, they wrote: "It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO (Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation), and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders.

"The Grenfell Action Group believe that the KCTMO narrowly averted a major fire disaster at Grenfell Tower in 2013 when residents experienced a period of terrifying power surges that were subsequently found to have been caused by faulty wiring."

Grenfell Tower block on fire
Image: George Clarke. Picture: Instagram

The entire building caught fire in the early hours of this morning. 200 firefighters are dealing with the blaze.

Whether anyone is stuck inside at the moment is unclear, although eyewitnesses told LBC they saw people waving and shouting from the top of the building.

LBC has contacted the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation for comment.