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Fire safety failings were identified but neglected months before the Grenfell blaze

According to new documents, fire safety issues were identified during the Grenfell refurbishment in 2016. The reports conducted by two agencies were, unfortunately, neglected.

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Fire safety issues were identified but neglected months before the Grenfell blaze./Ph. DR

Official warnings, revealing fire safety failings at the Grenfell tower were issued almost one year before the blaze that killed 72people, including several Moroccan nationals, reports the Telegraph, quoting British network ITV.

The information made public on Tuesday, 7th of August points at two documented reports conducted in 2016. According to an independent Fire Risk Assessment of the tower in June of the same year, «more that 40 high risk issues» have been detected within the two to three weeks of Grenfell’s refurbishment process.

ITV stresses that the same fire risk assessor asked the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization, which manages nearly 10,000 properties on behalf of Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council, four months later, why 20 of the issues identified by his report were not treated.

The second document pointing at the fire risk issues in the building was issued by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA). In November 2016, the agency which runs the London Fire Brigade set «a deadline for action» in May 2017, says the same source. Which ended only one month before the fire.

Affecting the tower's smoke venting system

It is the first time that Londoners know that, indeed, official warnings about Grenfell's fire safety were issued before the deadly blaze.

In fact, the reports referred to problems linked to «damaged or poorly fitted fire doors and fire doors that did not self-close».

Moreover, they reported that the tower refurbishment process had done harm to the building’s smoke venting system and the firefighter’s lift controls.  

For the record, the Grenfell Tower inhabitants have warned the KCTMO in the past against the fire safety problems in the building for several years.

A public inquiry is currently taking place in the UK to establish the facts of what happened at the building and prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. It started with seven days of commemorations to the 72 victims.

In July, detectives investigating the Grenfell Tower fire, said they are conducting «three interviews with caution» with the possibility of considering offences, including manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter and breaches of the Health and Safety Acts.

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