Grenfell Tower fire

Grenfell Tower fire
A tower block (Grenfell Tower) burning on nearly all floors with large amounts of smoke rising, and water being sprayed at the building from firefighters.
The fire during the early morning of 14 June 2017
Grenfell Tower is located in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Grenfell Tower
Grenfell Tower
Grenfell Tower's location within the Kensington and Chelsea borough
Grenfell Tower is located in Greater London
Grenfell Tower
Grenfell Tower
Grenfell Tower's location within London
Grenfell Tower is located in the United Kingdom
Grenfell Tower
Grenfell Tower
Grenfell Tower's location within the United Kingdom
Date14 June 2017 (2017-06-14)
Time00:54 BST (first emergency call)
Duration24 hours (under control)
Over 60 hours (fully extinguished)
LocationGrenfell Tower, North Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Coordinates
TypeStructure fire
CauseElectrical fault in a refrigerator; spread of fire largely exacerbated by flammable exterior cladding on the building[1]
Outcome
  • Government taskforce taking over parts of the RBKC council function
  • Urgent fire safety tests on cladding from similar towers
  • Independent review of building regulations and fire safety commissioned
  • £200 Million pledged from Government to replace similar cladding in other residential towers in England
Deaths72
Non-fatal injuries74 hospitalised
Property damage£200 million – £1 billion (estimated)[2]
InquiriesPublic inquiry hearings opened 14 September 2017
InquestOpen for all 72 victims; pending police investigation and public inquiry
Arrests6
Websitewww.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk Edit this at Wikidata

On 14 June 2017, a fire broke out in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of flats in North Kensington, West London, at 00:54 BST; it caused 72 deaths, including those of two victims who later died in hospital. More than 70 others were injured and 223 people escaped. It was the deadliest structural fire in the United Kingdom since the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster and the worst UK residential fire since the Second World War.

The fire was started by a malfunctioning fridge-freezer on the fourth floor.[note 1] It spread rapidly up the building's exterior, bringing fire and smoke to all the residential floors. This was due to the building's cladding, the external insulation and the air gap between which enabled the stack effect. The fire burned for about 60 hours before finally being extinguished. More than 250 London Fire Brigade firefighters and 70 fire engines were involved from stations across London in efforts to control the fire, and rescue residents. More than 100 London Ambulance Service crews on at least 20 ambulances attended, joined by specialist paramedics from the Ambulance Service's Hazardous Area Response Team. The Metropolitan Police and London's Air Ambulance also assisted the rescue effort.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry began on 14 September 2017 to investigate the causes of the fire and other related issues. Findings from the first report of the inquiry were released in October 2019 and addressed the events of the night. It affirmed that the building's exterior did not comply with regulations and was the central reason why the fire spread, and that the fire service were too late in advising residents to evacuate. A second phase to investigate the broader causes began on the third anniversary in 2020.

As of June 2020, the fire is currently being investigated by the police, a public inquiry, and coroner's inquests. Among the issues being investigated are the management of the building by the Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council and Kensington and Chelsea TMO (or KCTMO, which was responsible for the borough's council housing) and the responses of the Fire Brigade, the council and other government agencies. In the aftermath of the fire, the council's leader, deputy leader and chief executive resigned, and the council took direct control of council housing from the KCTMO. The national government commissioned an independent review of building regulations and fire safety, which published a report in May 2018. Across the UK and in some other countries, local governments have investigated other tower blocks to find others that have similar cladding. Efforts to replace the cladding on these buildings are ongoing.

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference news.met.police.uk was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "Insurance cost of Grenfell Tower fire". Retrieved 9 February 2019.


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