Horrific London High-rise Fire, Residents Warn Lack of Fire Safety

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london high-rise fire

London -- Fire crews are still trying to count the dead and injured from a massive fire that broke out in a London High-rise.  At this point, six people were found dead and seventy were injured.

{Update:  As of June 21, 2017, 79 are presumed dead.  As of June 14, 2017, 12 people have been confirmed dead.} 

The residents of this low-income high-rise in the middle of London's poshest neighborhood, Notting Hill, warned that the fire safety was not adequate.  They feared a deadly fire was imminent.

The thick smoke billowed in the air and could be seen for miles.  Witnesses saw people jumping from windows, children banging on locked doors, a woman drop her baby from 12-stories up, and more.

Hundreds of residents tried to escape when the fire broke out at 1am at the Grenfell Tower, a public housing building for poor and disabled residents.  The building was completely engulfed in minutes.

"It was like a horror movie, smoke was coming from everywhere,"said building resident Abeeb.  He managed to escape with his wife and children down nine stories on crutches.  Abeeb reported that no alarms went off.  He learned about the fire when his daughter woke him.  "She said, 'I can see fire' and I opened the door and could see smoke."

Residents have been complaining that the recently renovated building had ignored safety rules.  There were no working fire sprinklers or smoke alarms.  Additionally, there was no easy means of egress.  A witness said that the recently installed exterior cladding "burned like paper."

"It appears that the external cladding has significantly contributed to the spread of fire at Grenfell Tower," said Angus Law, Building Research Establishment Center for Fire Safety Engineering at University of Edinburgh. 

At this point, six people are confirmed dead and the death toll is expected to rise.  The building houses 500 people.

Read more at the Washington Post. 

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