The SKWAWKBOX has covered many aspects of the Grenfell Tower disaster, from the closed emergency exits and gas shut-offs reported by firefighters to the superhuman efforts of crews who ran into an inferno time and time again; from the use of materials that had been reported as a deadly risk for years and the sham tests that let them pass, to a list of 41 questions that must be answered if police or a public inquiry are to get to the real facts needed for justice and to safeguard high-rise residents in future.
Now, thanks to testimony by firefighters who, for obvious reasons, cannot be named, the SKWAWKBOX can relate what should have happened that night were it not for government cuts – and that firefighters face potential disciplinary action for their diligence and dedication to duty on that terrible night in June.
What should have happened
The government has…
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Rumours have abounded about compromised safety measures and the spread of the fire at Grenfell Tower, from gas pipes in the stairwell to emergency exits closed because of the proximity of the Kengington Aldridge Academy building to the base of the block.
Now the SKWAWKBOX can reveal two shocking aspects of the disaster, confirmed by concerned members of the London Fire Brigade crews who fought the blaze.
Hoses were turned off
A firefighter told this blog that the initial refrigerator fire was extinguished by firefighters inside the apartment, but had spread through the wall to the outside of the block. This much is already common knowledge.
What is not known, however, is that firefighters had turned off the hose they had trained on the outside wall of the block.
This may sound damning, but is in fact not uncommon. The usual practice in a tower fire is to train a…
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Shadow Fire and Emergency Services Minister has issued a new video that gives a brilliant short history of the societal, economic and political causes of the Grenfell Tower disaster – which are firmly rooted in the failed politics of the past 40 years.
If you want an overview of the decline in our societal values and processes that led to the terrible loss of life in Grenfell Tower in June, you can get an excellent one here in under four minutes.
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One of the most puzzling and worrying aspects of the terrible Grenfell Tower fire was the rapid spread of the fire through the building from the burning exterior cladding. Residents have pointed fingers at the exposed gas pipes running up the stairwell as a possible contributory factor:
New information provided to the SKWAWKBOX may be significant in explaining how rapidly the fire spread and how long and hard firefighters had to battle to put out the blaze.
Local residents insist that they have been told, by gas engineers contracted to maintain gas infrastructure at the blocks owned by the KCTMO (Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation), that firefighters found the main gas entry valve to the block, which they would have expected to use to isolate the building from the main gas supply, concreted over and inaccessible.
Who might have been responsible for such a measure or why it might…
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Nadia Cenci, the leader of the Tory group on Ipswich council who apologised for a tweet insulting survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire – but not for a similar tweet saying she had ‘stopped listening to them’ – subsequently deleted her entire Twitter account.
She told the Ipswich Star that this was
so that none of my tweets can cause any further offence.
Deleting your entire account because of one or two tweets about a particular incident? But ‘none of my tweets’ might be read as applying more widely.
It’s easy to delete a couple of tweets, so the SKWAWKBOX wondered what else she might have been tweeting about that she might not wish others to see now there was a spotlight on her account and couldn’t be sure of cleaning completely manually.
Fortunately for those curious about the matter, there are a number of archived versions of Councillor Cenci’s…
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