tv BBC News Special BBC News June 14, 2017 6:45pm-9:00pm BST
good evening from bbc london news. block which you can see smoke is still coming from the building on the 15th floor. you can see flames depending on when the wind turns this way, flames and letting the side of the building, which is why we've been told to wear these facemasks, because there is debris, cert and facemasks, because there is debris, certand dirt facemasks, because there is debris, cert and dirt on the air. their rockets flying around, this is directly from the building itself. these are on the streets. they have taken days —— it will take days to clear up. taken days —— it will take days to clearup. a taken days —— it will take days to clear up. a bird's eye view of the building, this level of devastation has been caused, the fire began at 1am this morning, and it has claimed lives. currently 12 lives is the official total, but the metropolitan police tell us that number is likely to go up. reporters have been on the ground and around the area all day from early this morning. we will be hearing from them later in the programme. we will hear from
hearing from them later in the programme. we will hearfrom karl mercer at a nearby mosque which opened its doors to help those in need tonight, who were evacuated from the tower block itself. alice has a different vantage point of the one i've got now. firstly, i think we should hear from those affected most. people who tonight are counting themselves lucky to escape alive. people who lost their homes and in many cases, people who have lost just about everything and in many cases, people who have lostjust about everything they own... lostjust about everything they own. . . today lostjust about everything they own... today is the 14th ofjune. .. 2am, i was woken up by the siren noise. it was my son that woke me up. i think it was about 1:20am. and where were you? on the 17th floor. we grabbed them. we ran downstairs, it took us a solid four minutes to get out, just as i was entering the ground floor, the fire brigade was coming up. it was moving very fast. i cannot imagine, it was so fast.
i looked down and there was fire on the left side. i couldn't even see. every minute, it was getting worse and worse. it was going around the building. ina full circle... it was so bad. people were in the building after an hour. to see them helpless... what floor are you on? seven, yeah? and i said to her... they are coming. they are coming for you. they are coming to get you. umm... i don't know if they did. it comes in waves. the people screaming, the worst thing. we heard them screaming. people were calling out and asking what floor they were on. there were people on the tenth and 11th floors, where they were actually using the fire hoses, and they saw people waving
from the windows and a woman screaming that she had a child there, and... there was nothing anyone could do. we were on the ground. i've got my friend there. already, she's out, but her brother and wife and children are still there. we don't know if they are safe or not. for me, the one image that sticks in my mind was seeing a family waving what appeared to be a towel for around an hour. there was a helicopter coming about 400 metres from their window, and then turning around. for me, the thing i took from this was how agonising must that have been for that family, when they were there. we watched them stop moving from the street. this is one of my main concerns about living in a tower block. on saturday, we did have the fire brigade team come around and speak to people in their houses. checking alarms...
just this saturday. they told us that the protocol was to close your door because the fire door will withstand the heat for a duration of time. but i think what has happened is they haven't understood that the fire had spread around the building. that is wrong information for that building and the material in that building. if you are staying in your house, you could still be trapped. if you had stayed... if i listen to the advice given to me by the fire brigade and by the tmo management team, we could be dead. you've got family on the 18th floor, and you spoke to them last night? what were they saying? smoke. they couldn't get out because of the smoke. i asked... i don't know what i would do ifi asked... i don't know what i would do if i was him. hejust stayed in the room, hoping the fire brigade would get up there. that is what they were told? yeah, they stayed in there to follow the instructions.
not much you could do from the 80th floor and they cannot fly. —— 18th. he was like an older brother, always looking after me. what is the latest? apparently it has been confirmed that he has passed, due to the chemicals from the building, in the chemicals from the building, in the hospital... ijust... i don't know what to think. the moment that building went up, how, why? there area building went up, how, why? there are a lot of questions to be asked. the voices of those affected by the tower block fire in the early hours of the morning. i noticed as soon as icame to of the morning. i noticed as soon as i came to the area this afternoon to see the fire myself, people were approaching me immediately and asking if we had heard from their loved ones, one of those people is ray fiasco, tell us about them ? one of those people is ray fiasco, tell us about them? a good friend of
mine. herand tell us about them? a good friend of mine. her and her tell us about them? a good friend of mine. herand her mother, the tell us about them? a good friend of mine. her and her mother, the last we heard from them was at 3:30am. did you hearfrom we heard from them was at 3:30am. did you hear from them we heard from them was at 3:30am. did you hearfrom them on we heard from them was at 3:30am. did you hear from them on the we heard from them was at 3:30am. did you hearfrom them on the phone? no, they were messaging a friend on twitter. as soon as he heard, he got there and from 2:30am to 3:30am, they lost contact. i woke up to a phone call saying to check the news, khadija is in there. i could not get through. i turned to social media andi through. i turned to social media and i thought, you know what? maybe someone and i thought, you know what? maybe someone has and i thought, you know what? maybe someone has seen and i thought, you know what? maybe someone has seen her. you are handing out leaflets in the area. all the best of luck. i hope you do find khadija. that is typical of a number of people in the area. it seems to me, london is a huge city with millions of people inside. when it comes to a tragedy, londoners behave like one community, as you
would expect in a small village somewhere, of people coming together and supporting those in need. karl mercer is in a mosque a short distance from where i am now. he's been looking to see how people are doing just that, and coming together. karl? yes, we've seen it across west london all afternoon, people coming with bags and bringing food. here we are, just about half a mile from the scene. you can see just how busy it is. if you take a walk inside, when we arrived at 12 o'clock this afternoon, there was hardly anything here. hardly anybody here. but, take a look at what has happened since. this room has been full, a lot of water and food from here has already been taken to those in need. if we swing to the other side of the room, we've got a lot of clothes donated and a lot of bedding as well. as i say, it is something that's been happening across west london this afternoon. people have been approaching us as well and
offering us assistance. we are now joined by the chief executive of the cultural centre and mosque here. abdul—rahman kassig ede, a very difficult day for you and many worshippers he would also have suffered? yes, people worried about their loved ones. people do not know what happened to their loved ones. they do not have any information but in the meantime, we are doing our best to offer all the help people need. we've been inundated with the generosity of the community. people have called us from as far as luton and gatwick to offer us assistance, supplying us with food and blankets. and it has been very personal for the cultural centre and mosque as well, some of your staff have family and many of the worshippers would have worshipped here? yes, some worshippers have family in the building and don't know what
happened to them. worshippers as well. it is a difficult situation we are in but we are trying to cope by providing emotional and material support the community needs, as a centre. we have deleted there. thank you very much. as you can see, the effort continues here —— we have to leave it there. it's been a difficult day for people who have been losing their homes, and our correspondence catherine carpenter has been finding out their stories of the day. thank you very much. a neighbour brings 88 of mary dennis a chair, she's been awake since the early hours when she fled her home afraid and confused. early hours when she fled her home afraid and confusedlj early hours when she fled her home afraid and confused. i heard banging on my door, bang, bang. i did not get up. but what happened, when they banged it and i got get up. but what happened, when they banged itand i got up... get up. but what happened, when they banged it and i got up... they said to evacuate out, out. there is fire.
i rang to evacuate out, out. there is fire. irang in to evacuate out, out. there is fire. i rang in my nightie. there was enough screaming, children screaming, everybody screaming. another neighbour offers food and water. thiago says he needs to keep busy so he does not dwell on what he heard and what he saw.|j busy so he does not dwell on what he heard and what he saw. i could hear people from the tower, there were a lot of casualties, and they said people were jumping from the building... overnight, saint clement ‘s church became his century. here and at every rescue centre, donations have flooded in all day —— sanctuary. we are londoners. everybody is a london. we had to help each other. i've been here all morning. i have older clothes for older people this time...|j morning. i have older clothes for older people this time... i will help you. thank you, darling. this morning it was kids clothes. i've seen morning it was kids clothes. i've seen loads of locals coming down. this mosque counts many grenfell
tower residence among its worshippers. today they were sorting clothes and cooking, for those breaking fast tonight or in need after the longest of days. other members of the community took people into their homes. at least three families crammed into this terrace in the early hours. my son is asthmatic and was having an asthma attack. as soon as she saw us, this woman took as an here. if not, we would have been out all night. also taken in, this four—month—old. her bed for the night is a stranger's sober while her mother waits for news of missing friends. —— sofa. catherine carpenter, bbc london news. as you can see, the charity effort continues and will continue late into the night. my colleague has been out today talking to people living in the area about their fears of living in high—rise blocks. that's right. i've been here all
day. i am now on the balcony of a low—rise block, just on bromley road, as you can see right in front of the grenfell tower. i've been in the area all day, speaking to people. some local residents and some from outside the area, who have come to offer their help and support. i've also been speaking to firefighters, i spoke to some this morning coming off shift. they've been here for 12 hours. they told me when they arrived at this fire it was too dangerous to go in. debris was too dangerous to go in. debris was falling. it was only when riot police were able to make a tunnel out of shields that they were able to enter the building. as you can imagine, people living in this block saw exactly what happened next door, as well as people living in all of these tower blocks. there are plenty around here. the fire raises questions about the safety of london's tower blocks. in 2009 there
we re london's tower blocks. in 2009 there were recommendations made after a similarfire in were recommendations made after a similar fire in southwark, were recommendations made after a similarfire in southwark, but critics say some of the recommendations haven't been followed, and lessons have not been learned. here is our correspondence tom edwards. knowing full well, when you are watching this that people are not going to be ok, that this isn't going to be ok, this isn't going to end well... yeah, it's heartbreaking. reporter: angela lives on the 90th floor in the block opposite grenfell tower. after last night, she is now extremely concerned about the fire risk in her own building —— 19th floor. what came to mind at 3am this morning is what is the security protocol in this building, if something similar were to happen? what would i do and where would my pa rents what would i do and where would my parents go? how would we leave
quickly? this fire raises questions about london's housing stock. the last major fatal fire was in southwark in 2009 where six people died. the coroner made recommendations, there should be clarity of residents should stay put or get out. councils should retrofit sprinklers and simplify building regulations about what can be changed. the chances of getting a fire are very low... in 2010 the london assembly also highlighted concerns about the capital's high—rise housing stock. we found that there was a relatively low risk of actually having a fire ina tall loading. low risk of actually having a fire in a tall loading. really, you are fairly safe but the problem is if there is a fire, advice is often not given about the right way to behave and information not being given to te na nts by and information not being given to tenants by landlords and councils not giving advice to landlords. according to city hall, 8% of london's population live in high—rise flats, blocks over 11
stories tall. lessons have not been learned. today is an absolute tragedy and it is caused by the lack of proper regulation of refurbishment standards. the government have been pressed for a number of years by the all—party and to committee on safety to do all—party and to committee on safety todoa all—party and to committee on safety to do a review of the building regulations to test the integrity of the tools that are used in refurbishment and they have continually put this off. the government says that work is still
ongoing and checks will now be carried out on blocks going through similar refurbishment. but there is now anger and questions. what happened in luck in our house, after it had been refurbished, the verve furbish and had of the fire —— the refurbishment had compromised the fire compartmentalised age and and it didn't compartmentalised. it seems like that is what has happened in grenfell tower and people lost their lives. there has been a lot of talk around external cladding, making sure that tower blocks of fire proofed inside properly and compartmentalised, meaning that a buyer should not be spread from within a flat where it breaks out, enabling the fire brigade to get there and deal with the incident. it's difficult to see why this has happened and there are no excuses for it. this man also lives in the
block opposite. he hasn't been able to co nta ct block opposite. he hasn't been able to contact a friend who lived in g re nfell tower. to contact a friend who lived in grenfell tower. where the claims are, it if you move to the right, there is a gap there by the smoke, thatis there is a gap there by the smoke, that is where she used to live. while it isn't clear why this fire happened, it is very clear that safeguards failed. as we have been hearing, this tower block, grenfell tower, underwent a £10 million refurbishment that was completed last year and tonight, the fire minister has said they will be carrying out emergency investigations on every tower block undergoing similar refurbishment. pa rt undergoing similar refurbishment. part of the refurbishment included new cladding so questions are now being asked about the risks posed by that cladding as gareth burbidge reports. arnold tiling is a fire safety expert and he's about to
carry out a test. the reason he is doing this is because he has a theory about why the fire spread so rapidly at the grenfell tower. and it's to do with the material that may have been used when cladding was fitted. the actual rigid board installation that i believe is most likely to have been used is made from the same material, polyurethane. i am from the same material, polyurethane. lam now from the same material, polyurethane. i am now setting fire to this and this is the rate at which it burns. that is very, very rapid and this is a typical material used for insulating the external pa rt of used for insulating the external part of buildings. this test was put out easily but he thinks terms of similar materials could have quickly burned out of control. a baby that i haveis burned out of control. a baby that i have is that the building has been clad with a flammable insulation material on the exterior. of course, there is no official statement yet on the cause of the fire and the
reason for its rapid spread. but three years ago, at a safety conference, arnold tiling publicly warned that cladding high—rise buildings could end in disaster and now he fears he may have been proved right. yes, it looks typical of a cladding related fire on the exterior of the property. all the external cladding has completely gone, which is what you would expect if you have got flammable materials. the principle of the design of the cladding is that it's there to allow rain to effectively get in and run down that cavity. the problem is that it will also allow fire to spread up and what will happen is it will actually create a path for the fire to spread and encourage the fire to spread and encourage the fire to spread faster and more intensely. a spokesperson for the contractors who completed the refurbishment last year said it met all required building control by regulation and health and safety
standards. —— by regulation and health and safety standards. another company involved said it would not be appropriate to comment or for others to speculate on any aspect of the fire or its courses in advance of the enquiries. at this time, the company said it was not aware of any link between the buyer and —— between the fire and the exterior cladding. back here across the road from grenfell tower, i am joined by jim fitzpatrick, mp, a former firefighter himself, and archbishop justin welby, the archbishop of canterbury. what we are seeing is a real coming together of people, of communities, archbishop, helping each other? it has been the most extraordinary sight around here. people filling out churches but
people from all faiths using the church buildings, using holes, using whatever centres they can find, working together, huge teams of volu nteers working together, huge teams of volunteers together working effectively. as someone said to me earlier, it's the community of christ in hospitality, in partnership with everybody else and eve ryo ne partnership with everybody else and everyone can just get stuck in. and then of course this extraordinary work by the emergency services. i've been with them, talking to them, and just exhaustion written across their faces. stress and yet courage. and this is what is becoming typical of london, the way people come together. they forget their differences. ed smith —— its mosques, synagogues, all areas taking in people as well as churches. absolutely. as we have seen, and we saw in manchester as well, everyone coming together when there is a tragedy on this scale and
just an outpouring of the most extraordinary love and generosity and people just getting stuck in. putting their own interests aside. it's incredible. jim fitzpatrick, you were firefighter yourself. what we re you were firefighter yourself. what were your first thoughts when you heard about the fire? were your first thoughts when you heard about the fire ?|j were your first thoughts when you heard about the fire? i turned on my tv and saw the pictures coming from here andl tv and saw the pictures coming from here and i was totally- and here and i was totallyrsheckedrané here and i was tetallysheekedranet like here and i was totallyrsheekedranst like anyone who saw the horrified, like anyone who saw the images. there was awareness growing ofa images. there was awareness growing of a state that thought, where some people say - were told to stay people say they were told tcrstay people say they were told to'stay in the tower block in case of a put in the tower block in case of a fire. what do you say about that? that is normally advice given to people because every flat is self—contained and the fire doors, if they are up to specification, should give an hour to everyone inside. you normally advice would be star; indoors. the fire brigade to stay indoors, the fire brigade turn up and they can take control
and make a decision. clearly when they turned up here at 1am, the fire had a hold, the rapidity of spread meant that advice changed and firefighters were trying to get people out of the building. there is different advice for different circumstances, but normally it is safer to stay in the building, inside the flat you worrying if the building does catch fire until you are advised by the emergency services what you should do. what is your thought on how we can stop something like that happening again? we can stop this happening. sprinkler systems would have prevented this fire going further than one room and one flat. the tower block in southwark where six people died in 2009, recommendations we re people died in 2009, recommendations were made and we have been asking for a review since 2013, asking the government when they are going to issue the review of standards, because buildings are different now from when this was built in 1974.
london's skyline is showing different structures, different materials. there are different risks and we need to stay ahead of the curve and that is not what has happened here. we could have prevented this. what is your advice to people who are still looking for missing loved ones this evening? get help, be alongside with other people, don't be by yourself, because the pressure is so extreme. find someone, there are so many people around, go to one of the community centres, one of the churches and say, i am looking. there are grief counsellors, doctors, all sorts of people. they will help you. don't be by yourself. that's the main advice. secondly, to know that the whole country is standing at your side and grieving and worrying with you. archbishop, thatis and worrying with you. archbishop, that is good advice. we are sadly out of time. for those people who are looking for loved ones, the metropolitan police have opened up a
dedicated line to help those people. it's on your screen now. it's the metropolitan police casualty bureau, oh 800 096126 -- too metropolitan police casualty bureau, oh 800 096126 —— too creepy. welcome to west london. this is the scene this evening, still smouldering, home to some 600 people, 24 floors of accommodation now reduced to a black and hulk. through the day we have heard all sorts of accounts from residents. spare a thought for those who left building last night in the early the building last night in the early hours of the morning, coming out of hes-rs. a! the eager-sies- eaeae's-zi's." 5.5": a! f — v 5555”; a5 55; "555a5r-a5i-a55- 555-5555- a55 a5 f — v ‘apartments l5555”; a5 55; "555a5r-a5i-a55- 555-5555- a5-5 a5 f — v ‘apartments into l5555”; a5 55; "555a5r-a5i-a55- 555-5555- a5-5 a5 f — v ‘ apartments into thick 55555”; a5 55s "555a5r-a5i-a55- 555-5555- a5-5 a5 f — v ‘ apartments into thick smoke their apartments into thick smoke and coming through today knowing they have lost their worldly possessions and tonight they must
find emergency accommodation. it has been a very difficult day for the residents here, but at least the community have rallied around them. we will hear stories of how people are helping. accommodation, showers, really helping in any way they can after what people have been three. in the last short while, we have heard from the london fire brigade. we know the firefighters have made it to the top of the building. that doesn't mean they have done a research of the upper apartments but they have managed to get to the top to assess the situation up there. stru ctu rally, to assess the situation up there. structurally, it is still standing but obviously there are structural engineers here, taking a view of the property as it continues to burn and ensuring that the firemen who are working around it, and there are still plenty of them here, that they are safe. there is plenty of debris and masonry still falling off the building, so it is a very unsafe atmosphere. you will see from the pictures of the building that they have managed to get a hydraulic crane up. have managed to get a hydraulic crane up. they are targeting water
into the centre of the building remotely said that they don't have to put officers in danger‘s way. let's speak to someone who has been involved today. afshin sha is with me now. his aunt was in the building last night. did you manage to get out safely? where was she? luckily, she managed to get out safely. she was on the second floor of the grenfell tower. when i arrived at 1am, the whole of one side of the facade was engulfed in flames. i have been there ever since. i haven't at the site, haven't gone home yet. within four hours, the whole building had gone up. as each hour went on, i think the exterior, the power —— the panels, the cladding, that was catching fire and spreading the the building. but it inferno around the building. but it was definitely on one side. i was in east london at the time that i got the phone call about the tower being on fire and as i drove down the a 40, you could see it for miles.
where was your aunt when you got the call? when i got the call, she was at home. thankfully, someone had alerted her before i called her, so she takes it has something, i'm ok. she left promptly, as clean as she could. —— as soon as she could. she does suffer with arthritis but luck she believed she was on a lower level, so it was easy for her to get out. i think anyone above a certain flaw in that tower block either —us rec; see as; gr: or get out. —us rec; see as; gr: or- get out. how struggled or didn't get out. how long has your aunt lived here? many yea rs. long has your aunt lived here? many years. i have been here 27 years and i've she has been years. i have been here 27 years and i've- she has been here years. i have been here 27 years and i've - she has been here about i've imagine she has been herejbout same. did she have concerns the same. did she have concerns about the building? this area, it is around here and when people close around here and when people talk, word gets around and everyone gets involved in other peoples
business. grenfell tower has a bit of history of issues in the past. it's something we've always been aware of. something was done about it, i'm not too sure. i don't live in the block myself. i live across from it. it was only refurbished about a year ago, so you would have thought if there were safety concerns, they would have been taken ca re of concerns, they would have been taken care of when work was done. was she asleep when the render —— when the fire began? it was 2am, so she would have been asleep. most- would have been asleep. most people would have been asleep. most people would have been. where these stairwells full of smoke? she ran out. so she ignored the advice to stay? absolutely. in that instance, you go into survival mode and luckily i saw her safe and well. i could say that i could put my worries to rest but there are friends of ours that we
still haven't heard from. presumably she knows many of the people here because she has lived in for so long? absolutely. some of the people in that have lived there for 30 plus yea rs. in that have lived there for 30 plus years. it's affected not only the "ears lts affected not eel-the ~ ~ "ears its affected 555.55 “hi-the ~ ~ in that "ears its affected 55555 “hi-the ~ ~ in that building "ears its affected r555t “hi-the ~ ~ in that building but everyone people in that building but everyone around it. if you look around here, there are from places new if 737i "77 7"? 757i: have new if 7i77i 7777 777i7 757i: have come just to help, for that have come just to help, for food, from all religions, all races. everything has been put aside for today and it's a matching —— it's amazing to watch. the police, the fire brigade, all the emergency services helping. it's absolutely amazing, breathtaking. finally, where i she going to go tonight? where is she going to go tonight? are you housing her? i will house her by all means if necessary. she a very strong her by all means if necessary. she a very strong woman, her by all means if necessary. she a very strong woman, my aunt, is a very strong woman, my aunt, and will do all she can to sort- out will do all she can to sort this out for herself. we will always be there for herself. we will always be there for her. at the moment, she has got to lovely sons, my cousins, and they are doing a good job of looking after her. thank you for speaking to us. after her. thank you for speaking to
us. his aunt was in the building last night but glad to say she got out safely. there has been an extraordinary effort, as he said, today. some people have showered locally and giving them closer they can get to the end of the day. tonight, of course, people looking for emergency accommodation. some hotels in the area offering accommodation and some concerns that kensington and chelsea council are doing enough for neighbouring council blocks that have had to vacate. we will hear more about that ina vacate. we will hear more about that in a second but let's hear most —— first from our correspondent, lucy manning. the air was punctuated with the sound of crying. some have lost their home. others, much, much more. they gathered outside the community centre. the one thing nobody could offer was good news. for this family, it was,
understandably, too much. my mum, my sister, her daughters and husband. yes. they are all still in the building. i don't know if they are out, we don't have any information. she gave us this picture of her three smiling neices. what floor were they on? the 27th. you haven't been able to contact them? i phoned my sister, all i could hear was screaming. i was trying to tell her, get out, get to the nearest fire exit. i am shouting, so she can hear. the police officers heard me shouting on the phone. i reallyjust wanted to go in there, basically, do something. i felt helpless, standing there.
a blanket, at least. let people jump out the window. in the last hour, she heard news that someone might have spoken to her family. she is hoping it is true. after the panic of the night, the day brought only silence. i haven't seen my brother—in—law, his wife and three children. the children are aged 20, the boy is 20. a girl of16, 17. a boy of eight years. he spoke to them as they were trapped. i said, why are you not coming? she said, they asking us to stay. she said her husband was talking to the emergency people. they said, they are coming to get us, but the heat and smoke is coming. i said, get a wet blanket, but the kids on the floor and cover them and wait. she said, we can't do it, because the smoke is killing us, the smoke is coming. the smoke is coming through the doors. she is keeping covering
it, but it is heavy. that was the last time we have heard from her. for those on the lower floors that did make it out, and to the centre, some relief. i woke up at about 12.45, hearing, help me, a woman screaming, my baby, my baby, and the sounds of chaos. the police were knocking on the doors, evacuate, evacuate. we thought we had to get the hell out of here, it is going up. ed was saved by his friend calling him and telling him to leave. the smoke was so thick, you couldn't see anything. i got three quarters of the way and then i was using my hands to feel against the wall. i began thinking to myself, this is going to be me, you know? i'm going to die of smoke inhalation. there was actually a fireman lying on the ground. this fireman, he saved my life. he just touched my foot and led me
to wear the fire exit was. ed was instrumental in raising concerns about the safety of the building years ago. this accident never needed to happen. if people had listened to what we were saying, what the blog was saying, what members of the community were saying. this accident never needed to happen. inside the centre, those waiting for news or that have lost their homes are covered downstairs in the hall. as you can imagine, it is a fairly distressing situation. at times, people are sobbing as they wait for news. news that, at this stage, will possibly not be good news. it is also busy in there. they are getting help with housing, with food, and the medical help. they have no homes to go back to.
now, it is notjust the burned—out building that looms over this community, but the fear that they will hear that many more of their neighbours have died. no doubt we are going to be facing, i think, some sad use in the hours ahead because that recovery and —— that recovery operation is still going on. let's speak to somebody who has been helping today, providing spiritual help as well as a shoulder to climb on —— a shoulder to cry on, the local bishop. you have been providing some help to the firemen and the emergency service crews who have been in there. we often overlook the fact they have to deal with this traumatic situations as well. exactly, right around the tower block there are fire service, ambulance, police, all of whom are
dealing with the immediate issue themselves, trying to put out the fire and to see what can be done with the fire antibodies that are inside. i have been spending the day along with quite a lot of the clergy locally being around them, giving them someone to talk to, and i think i have appreciated someone giving their time to listen to their stories and allowing them to unburden themselves of some of the things they have had to do today. lot of the people in the early hours work on adrenaline, trying to get themselves to safety. tonight, they will be processing what they have been through. tell us of some of the stories you have heard and what people are doing? some of them are pretty grim stories, firefighters going into the building, not only coping with the heat and the water jets are there on the hottest day of the year, but also having to step over bodies and having to manage the trauma of that kind of thing. many
of them are used to it. they are extraordinarily professional and one of the things that struck me was how carmel. but also i think many of them realised that in the days to come a lot of the memories that have affected them to day will come back. they have been through this, not on this scale before, firefighters who have been firefighters for 30 years and have never seen this before. indeed, we heard from the commander in charge of the london fire brigade today and she said she has been in the service for 29 years and have never seen the service for 29 years and have never seen anything like this in a high—rise building. what about accommodation? there are concerns that there is not enough accommodation for people.|j that there is not enough accommodation for people. i have just been down to saint clement church which has been open all day, since 3am, and they have been providing people with space but most of the people that have been there have been taken to the westway centre and two other places for accommodation. a lot of other
churches locally have set themselves up churches locally have set themselves up as places that people can stay. stjohn's in notting hill have set aside 40 beds in the body of the church will people to stay in. my hope is, the council have told us that accommodation has been found. whether we actually, whether that is actually true, i guess we will know tomorrow morning. of course, it is not only those in the block. it is people around as well. it is mostly that, actually. most of the people who need a bed are those who have been evacuated from the local area. i was speaking to one family who we re i was speaking to one family who were evacuated in the middle of the night last night, came out with no clothes, no anything, the mother had to leave her medication in the flat and they are beginning to worry about what happens when the medication wears off tomorrow. there area medication wears off tomorrow. there are a lot of distrust people around. of course, you get to know the —— there are a lot of distressed people
around. of course you get to know the local community. i was speaking to one of our filipino priest ‘s early today and he is anxious about a lot of his people who he knows where in the building that he hasn't spoken to. there are also good news stories, speaking to a fireman who brought out a survivor at 9am, up on one of the upper floors, the door opens and an elderly gentleman walks out, sounded like he was blind and they were able to take him out and get him out safely. one of the last out of the building. so there are good news stories like that but i suspect there will be a lot worse to come. thank you for ending on a good news story. thank you for talking to us. news story. thank you for talking to us. i should just say, if you do wa nt to us. i should just say, if you do want to know anything about anyone who was trapped in the building, there is a number. you are watching bbc news.
well, obviously we have heard from people who have been helping out here today. there will be an awful lot of questions as well about buildings of this nature, high—rise buildings, particularly old buildings. this one was built in 1973 and only has one stairwell in and out, one exit route for those people on the upper floors, and there will be a lot of questions asked about building regulations in the wake of this. david shankman has been looking at what might be discussed in this about. the wreckage of grenfell house stands amid a cluster of tower blocks. like many cities around the world, london has seen the rise of the skyscraper. homes and offices, perched high above street level, with a host of safety rules designed to resist fire. but eight years ago, a blaze at this tower block in south london killed six people.
southwark council was fined for breaching fire regulations. and there are plenty of expert voices today saying that the lessons of what happened here at lakanal house have not been learned. la ka nal house demonstrated that people were at risk in their own homes. the fire in west london last night, this morning, as demonstrated that they are still at risk in their own homes. these fires shouldn't be happening in 21st—century london. we've got the ability to stop them from happening, and when fires do break out, to restrict them to small areas of flats or buildings. one key question in the spotlight today is about the design of tower blocks, and how they are meant to keep people safe in case a fire breaks out. normally, a fire hose can only reach about 15 metres. grenfell tower stands 67 metres high. in america, they rely on what is called "active safety". sprinklers fight fires in every room, but that can be expensive. the basic principle here, until recently, has been passive safety, designing the building to confine any blaze to a single room.
clearly, that has failed. investigators will want to know why. another focus will be on the cladding fitted to the outside of the building panels to improve insulation and the look of older buildings like grenfell tower. but dozens of fires have been linked to cladding around the world. two years ago, a skyscraper in dubai caught fire, and the cladding was blamed. new rules there have tightened up on the kind of material that can be used. investigators here will explore what role the cladding might have played. in the uk, it has to be what we call of limited combustibility. i am sure that is going to be questioned now, after this fire. what exactly that means, and what these types of cladding systems are adding to the fire load on the building. it was after the second world war that councils and said the housing crisis by moving away from old terraced homes coming to new
high—rise tower blocks. but their safety from fire depends on good design and care for. london their says people living in tower blocks will now —— the london mayor says people living in tower blocks need to be reassured, and fire professionals are shocked by how this blaze spread. literally every single floor was on fire, internally. you don't usually see that. you see one floor, two floors, and then a hopping from floor to floor, maybe, over a period of time. you would not normally see an entire facade on fire, then all of the interior on fire at the same time. so, that's what's very unusual. so, the fire overcame whatever safety features were in place. last year, the government promised a review into fire safety in tower blocks, but then delayed it. this disaster now makes that work a priority. david shukman, bbc news. let's speak to simon lay — he's the uk representative for the council on tall buildings —
which is an international organisation. hejoins us from our studio in salford. what do you think went wrong? it is really too early to say. any tragedy like this tends to be the result of a combination of a number of factors. there is a lot of talk about things like the facade but really it is too early to tell what has gone wrong. notjumping to conclusions but many people are talking about this rental planning. has there been a debate about this cladding, have they been other fires worldwide where concerns have been raised? with cladding systems, they are incredibly complicated. they may look simple on the outside but the details behind it and how they attach to a building is very complex. these types of cladding systems, using aluminium panels,
composite panels, are common around the world. in some cases there have been issues with them and in other cases they can be designed to be safe. it comes down to the details. many people perhaps who do not live in high—rise blocks but who work in high—rise office buildings would be quite surprised that there is only one exit out of a building like this and no sprinkler system. it is perfectly normal until a few years ago in the uk to design a high—rise building without sprinklers. they we re building without sprinklers. they were introduced in other buildings around the world for many reasons but the data in the uk just did not supported, did not suggest there was a need to introduce sprinklers. also having a single sack —— staircase in a building in the uk is normal practice, and what we have done for a long time. it had not shown any
significant impact on fire safety. a long time. it had not shown any significant impact on fire safetylj can see two or three other apartment blocks and i dare say many people living in those will be nervous this evening. i'm sure people will feel nervous. i would say each building is different, each building is an individual. and people really should not feel nervous. living in a high—rise building in the uk whether old or new is one of the safest places to live. simply because we spend a lot of time and attention looking after them, looking at them and worrying about how they are designed from a fire point of view. thank you very much. andy slaughter is the mp for hammersmith, the neighbouring constituency. this constituency is kensington. so you're in hammersmith and you have had an issue like this yourself on shepherd's bush green just a year
ago, what kind of things were discussed after that fire that might appertain to what has happened here? we looked at three main issues, the cause, it was unsafe electrical appliances. and secondly whether there were specific issues to this particular tower block, here i know they had been concerns raised by the residents. but i do not want to speculate about both. then you look at the longer term issues and the defining characteristic of this terrible tragedy is the way that the fire spread. although there were a number of flats damaged in the shepherd's bush via last august, it was contained by the fire services and thankfully we only had minor injuries. he clearly a number of fatalities. just to ask about that
stay put instruction, historically that was in place to stop people filling up stairwells and enable fire officers to get up the stairs as quickly as possible. but at some point during a fire like this they have to change the instructions? the received wisdom for the 30 years i have been involved is that tower blocks are inherently safe because ifa blocks are inherently safe because if a fire starts then it can be contained within one or two flats. so the fire services can get there and deal with it. that is why i think that advice is given. clearly hear the spread was so intense and so hear the spread was so intense and so fast, the emergency services could not get up to those flaws and people simply did not have time to do anything. and without an intercom system to change and instructions officers would have to go door—to—door and tell people to clear out. all that will no doubt come out in what will be a
substantial enquiry because this is a national tragedy on a huge scale. the whole of london is in shock. this is a very close and diverse community. and people have come together today fantastically. and people in my constituencyjust 200 yards away have been here offering help. but many questions to be asked and so much uncertainty amongst people living in similar blocks. i know hammersmith council has put out a letter to many living in similar blocks nearby today to give them some reassurance. that will have to happen, inspections but also the investigation into whether there are inherent problems with either the construction or cladding of whenever it is that about this tragedy to happen. you were with me earlier when one resident from a neighbouring block said he had nowhere . go and there are some nowhere to go and there are some frustration it would seem that kensington and chelsea council are
not providing the accommodation people need. i know you have made some phone calls so what can you tell us? what i have been told is also the most vulnerable are being put up in hotels, people with young children or elderly or sick, otherwise people are only being offered resting centres. if that is right, i do not think that is sufficient. i spoke to my own counsel, hammersmith, and they have helped to source accommodation. many people are out of their homes for perhaps a couple of nights, the homes that had not been damaged but considered not to be saved as a precaution to return to tonight. so i would say to kensington council, one of the richest councils and the country, that those offers are there and they should have the resources to offer a decent bed to everyone put out of their homes tonight. and i hope they will do that. there has been some political finger—pointing
already but just been some political finger—pointing already butjust briefly, jeremy corbyn saying they will look at preventative measures, look at fire staffing of cause and also building regulations and it is especially those building regulations, there was supposed to be a review of that since 2010 and it has not happened. i think there has been, all public services have been dramatically reduced in the past seven years. local authorities and the fire service and many other bodies. people are looking not to take on responsibilities that they would have in the past. that has to stop. it is not just have in the past. that has to stop. it is notjust responding to fire, i think the fire brigade did brilliantly last night but it is all those inspections, making sure there are the right materials and sprinkler systems, if nothing else comes from this tragedy i hope we will do that and provide those resources to do that now. there will bea resources to do that now. there will be a public clamour for that. thank you very much. just to tell you a
bit about the casualties. 12 people confirmed to have died and more than 70 treated at six hospitals nearby. a major incident has been declared. 100 medical staff have been working flat out through the course of the day helping people who the bus hospitals. 18 of them still we are told in critical condition. our medical correspondent fergus walsh reports from st mary's hospital in paddington. i think we're struggling to bring about package. let's talk about tom symons, he has bolivia reports as to what the investigation into grenfell tower might be looking at. a death trap.
that is what some residents believe grenfell tower was. their high—rise home in ashes. friends and relatives dead, injured fighting for their lives. they say, we told you something was going to happen again and again. the proof of that was not hard to find. this is a blog by the tower‘s residents association, which says... it was posted last november. we have repeatedly reported concerns to the tenant management organisation of the royal borough of kensington and chelsea, including fire safety concerns that were not investigated during the regeneration works. the tower is owned by the council.
its running was handed to the tenant management organisation in the 1990s, but complaints followed. they included concerns about this advice to residents, to stay put inside a flat if there was a fire outside. there were also reports of faulty safety equipment, power surges and inadequate fire alarms. and it wasn't just at glenfell. this is the adair tower. it has the same management. following what happened here, the management was issued with an enforcement order by the fire brigade. it set out a string of failings, failings to ensure preventative measures to properly assess the risk. failure to offer a well marked escape route. and have an emergency plan. people were angry then, now they are furious.
jose has lived here 30 years. some of his friends lived at the grenfell tower. it has just happened too often. three towers, three fires? within a year. what changes were made here? they put signs up. they changed the doors, the fire doors, which they were not and basically that is it. do you think that is enough? no. he has a smoke alarm in his flat but he's still worried there is not a central fire alarm, a concern also raised at the grenfell fire. it was last given a comprehensive fire risk assessment 18 months ago during its refurbishment when it was covered with new cladding, a common process, so the government has ordered wider checks tonight.
we discussed with local authorities and the fire service of process where we seek to identify towers that might have had a similar process of refurbishment. and do that as quickly as possible to give reassurance to people. the investigation will begin once the exhausting task of putting out the inferno at the grenfell tower is complete. getting to the bottom of why it spread so fast could take months. 200 fire officers responded within minutes. and they were the people running up the stairs and we sometimes overlook their bravery. bob parkinson is a former fire officer and joins us from our
blackburn studio. give us an idea of what firefighters face when they go into a what firefighters face when they go intoa building what firefighters face when they go into a building that is burning like this. it is difficult to move around, basically, going into an area that is full of black fog. this black smoke. if you imagine fog, very heavy fog, but it is black, you cannot see a thing. so when you move around unless you have imaging cameras then you can only feel your way around very often. and obviously you cannot breathe in that smoke, it is quite poisonous. and so firefighters wearing breathing apparatus to be able to go into the atmosphere to carry a search and rescue and firefighting. and it is arduous and the breathing apparatus has a limited life depending on the size of the air cylinder. and also on how hard the firefighter is
working if he's having to go ten flights, 25 to stairs through the smoke with breathing apparatus on, then that is going to use up a considerable amount of air. so by the time they arrived at the droid they need to be at, sometimes or often they cannot stay long because often they cannot stay long because of insufficient air to carry out whatever procedures they are going to carry out. and then they have to get out of there before the air runs out or at least before what is called the time of the whistle which basically is a safety margin with a small amount of reserve air. and getting water to the top floor is obviously is the biggest problem. we know they could get watered last night to the 12 floors, the first 12, but after that point, what do you do to get water onto the fire in the upper floors? in the current build situation there are what they
call risers, dry and wet risers, you would find dry risers in their buildings and wet risers in higher buildings and wet risers in higher buildings and wet risers in higher buildings and basically a wet writer isa pipe buildings and basically a wet writer is a pipe going up through the staircase through each floor. and it is permanently charged with water. at each level you have landing valves were firefighters can connect their homes into that at each level. so the system should be designed to provide water to every level in the flats. and so they do not need to carry heavy hoses and drag those up staircases and things like that. thank you very much for talking to us. thank you very much for talking to us. another fire officer has direct experience of what happened here, wayne brown is deputy assistant chief of the london fire brigade. there has obviously been much gratitude for your men and what
they've done in the past 20 hours. what can you tell us about the building at the moment? currently the fire crews are working hard to damp down any small pockets of fire that remain within the block. we're working closely with the local authority and other partners to make sure we go through systematically as pa rt sure we go through systematically as part of the fire investigation into what might have been the cause. and the structural integrity of the building is of utmost importance to us. building is of utmost importance to us. we're working closely with local authorities structural engineers to make sure the structural integrity of the building is such that our crews ca n of the building is such that our crews can carry on working in the building. when we look at helicopter pictures we can see there are still pockets of fire still burning. yes, a building of this size, a fire of this magnitude, there are still pockets of fire remaining. we have got that under control and we are currently working hard to make sure any small pockets of fire are extinguished as soon as possible.
earlier the commander said you have been able to take advantage of drones supplied by i think the kent fire brigade. what did they enable you to do? will work closely with all bluelight partners and other fire and rescue services around the country. kent fire and rescue service kindly offered the use of their drones which means we can get close to the building and get some good images of the damage or any small pockets of fire or phrases we re small pockets of fire or phrases were someone small pockets of fire or phrases were someone could be still within the building that we could not see from the ground. we have images from the police helicopter but also because of downdraught we cannot get too close with a helicopter itself. so the drones gamers some footage. the residents told us you were incredible, your men will hear within just incredible, your men will hear withinjust under six incredible, your men will hear within just under six minutes. incredible, your men will hear withinjust under six minutes. but some of them said there was a problem getting all the trucks working, sourcing water. was that an issue? all the firefighters both men
and women have worked tirelessly to date since the early hours of the morning to extinguish the fire. the fire spread rapidly and developed throughout the building, at that stage we tried to supplement the water supplies. as part of that we draw on the water mains from around the local area and sometimes that can cause a bit of pressure within the mains. but we had no reports of anyissues the mains. but we had no reports of any issues with water. we managed to get water to the incident and because the size of the building is difficult at the higher you go, to get good water pressure. but the fire crews worked really hard in really difficult circumstances and carried out some fantastic work today. rescuing many members of the public. we just heard from a former fire officer what it is like to go up fire officer what it is like to go up the stairwell is when they're filled with smoke. you reach the top floor of the building but that does not necessarily mean you have been able to search the top floors. that is correct, it is a building of 24 floors, many flats within
that. we managed to get to the top of the building working in difficult conditions and smoke and heat. there has obviously been a lot of debris in the building itself is a part of the ongoing work will be to make sure we systematically searched all the remaining floors that are contained within the building. would it be the case that in a building like this and particularly on the upper like this and particularly on the upperfloors, the like this and particularly on the upper floors, the windows would not open fully and does that make it difficult to escape and difficult for you to get in and help? usually within a building of this size, we do not, the localfire engineering solutions to the building to not allow for upperfloor solutions to the building to not allow for upper floor windows to fully open for obvious reasons. the fire development is something that will be part of the investigation and we cannot really comment on whether anything that was within the building has played a part in the actual fire building has played a part in the actualfire development building has played a part in the actual fire development itself. that will be part of the ongoing investigation. your men have been a
credit to the service. thank you very much. well there has been plenty of political reaction today. alex forsyth is at westminster. what are they saying that are once again politicians finding themselves paying tribute to the work of the emergency services because they're having to deal with another significant incident. in a statement this morning the prime minister said her thoughts were with those working tirelessly in very difficult circumstances. she said she was deeply saddened by the loss of life. as you would expect she's been kept briefed throughout the day, there was a cross government meeting to coordinate the government response and make sure the emergency services are getting the support they need. that was chaired by the police and fire minister nick hurd and he gave an update on what happened at that meeting just as it concluded earlier. there are people out there who will need reassurance. we have discussed with local authorities and the fire service a process whereby
we seek to identify towers that might be in a similar process of refurbishment, and run a system of checks as quickly as possible to give reassurance to people. the labour leaderjeremy corbyn has already suggested they may be questioned over whether enough preventative measures were taken in the past and whether or not local authorities, some of whom have responsibility for these tower blocks in the uk, had adequate resourcing to make sure all the releva nt fire resourcing to make sure all the relevant fire regulations were in place. but he said questions would come tomorrow because the focus now is on getting the support to those who needed. this is jeremy corbyn. totally shocked by, this is the worst nightmare anyone can think of, fire ina worst nightmare anyone can think of, fire in a tower block and sympathy, support, solidarity to all those stuck in the tower or who have managed to be rescued or who have lost loved ones or do not know what has happened to their friends and family. and a huge thank you to the
fire service, police and ambulance and all other emergency services that got there so quickly. we are likely to hear more questions about what could or should have been done in the coming days but for now the focus from politicians is on those who in the immediate aftermath of this huge incident are needing great support. the fire brigadejust support. the fire brigade just moving support. the fire brigadejust moving in, another control unit behind us there. on its way to the perimeter at grenfell tower. just to return to politics for a second because tim farron was under a certain amount of political pressure after the election result and today we understand he has stood down and made a statement. let's have a listen to that. journalists have every right to ask what they see fit. the consequences of focus on my face is that i found myself torn between living as a faithful christian and serving as a leader. a
better, wiser person than me may have been able to deal with this war successfully, to remain faithful to christ while leading a political party in the current environment. to bea party in the current environment. to be a political leader especially a progressive, liberal party in 2017 and to live as a committed christian, to hold faithfully to the teachings of the bible has felt impossible for me. tim farron speaking earlier. standing down as the leader of the liberal democrats. and leadership battle will now pursue. let's return to local politics. there will be a big debate about the kind of social housing that we should provide in cities like london. professor peter reid ‘s is the city planning officer for the city of london. good evening to you. good evening and can i start by adding my sympathy to those affected by this tragedy and my admiration for those of the emergency services who have put themselves in danger to help. let's
just talk a little bit about high—rise buildings. many people might be in high—rise buildings in london tonight and will feel very nervous. i shall be returning after this interview and going to bed on the 27th floor of a high—rise block in the city of london and i will sleep soundly tonight. because high—rise buildings are not inherently dangerous. why are buildings like this, someone told me it was built in 1973 so it is quite old but had it been built a few yea rs old but had it been built a few years earlier there been concerns about its structural integrity. this is still standing despite the intensity of the fire, why is that? the method of construction has a lot to do with this, if you have a building with a concrete core which are good building should have because that concrete shaft in the middle protect both were escaping through the stairs from the fire around them, it also reinforces the building and allows it to stand.
buildings have for considerable length of time been designed so they do not collapse even in an intense fire like this. but of course many other things can be improved in buildings and as technology has progressed, so buildings have become even safer. for instance the buildingi even safer. for instance the building i live in, even though it isa building i live in, even though it is a residential, is fitted with sprinklers which is something quite rare in residential buildings. and has only been quite a recent introduction. grenfell tower for those who have been watching us this evening, this is how it looks, blackened, a shell of what it was. and of course structural engineers will need to keep an eye on it over the course of the next 24 hours at and at the moment is structurally safe. you're watching bbc news. we're going to be continuing with our coverage here from kensington this evening. plenty more reaction on why this fire happened and what
kind of things can be changed in the future to stop it happening again. i think we can bring professor rhys bacchin. —— back in. we werejust talking about these older buildings. but a high—rise building like this if it was being built today, would it just have one if it was being built today, would itjust have one stairwell exit? yes, the building that i live in which was completed about three yea rs which was completed about three years ago and has 280 apartments, has only one staircase. of course the staircase is contained within a concrete shaft to protect it from fire and smoke doors are fitted to keep the smoke out of the escape stairs. what perhaps might be different these days is to have special fire lit, ta ken different these days is to have special fire lit, taken over by the fire service in an emergency. ——
fire service in an emergency. —— fire lifts. of course people must not use lifts an emergency but a lift is often provided these days for the fire service to get the building quickly without having to run against the flow of people trying to escape down the staircase which is often a great impediment to emergency services and to those trying to escape. good to get your thoughts, thank you. and plenty more reaction from here in north kensington. the building behind me continuing to smoulder and the fire brigade still working on the building. let's get some weather news with matt taylor. it has been a day of above average temperatures across much of western europe. and here in the uk 27 achieved at heathrow airport. across spain and france the heat remains tomorrow but in the uk the cold front is heading our way to the west. that pushes into northern
ireland through the night with outbreaks of rain and breeze. but away from that most bases drive. and it will be quite humid for the vast majority tonight. not dropping much below the mid—teens if at all. so into thursday morning, the far west of wales, west of scotland, cloudy with outbreaks of rain but brighter skies moving in quickly through the morning. then showers returning for scotla nd morning. then showers returning for scotland and northern ireland. temperatures pushing up quite quickly through the east of england. it isa quickly through the east of england. it is a fresher day compared with today across the channel islands, south—west england and wales but it should be dry and sunny in the afternoon and pleasant. 22 degrees by mid afternoon around london but tem ptress by mid afternoon around london but temptress picking at 25 of four things turn fresher later on. through northern ireland and scotla nd through northern ireland and scotland the shower is more
widespread and pushing through on that breeze. as we go through thursday night and into friday, most dry, slightly fresher night than the night were about to have but temperatures still in double figures for the majority. a bright start with good sunny spells, clouding overin with good sunny spells, clouding over in northern ireland, scotland and the north of england. some rain around in scotland. some brighter skies into the east of northern ireland, lifting temperatures to around 20 degrees through the afternoon. into the weekend high pressure is building from the south, still some cloud and occasional rain in the west of scotland, perhaps north—west england. elsewhere sunny and pleasant. and some spots of rain around on sunday but getting hotter. we could have first 30 degrees in the south east of england. you're watching bbc news.
i'm christian fraser in west london, where a huge fire has swept through a tower block killing 12 people — many residents still unaccounted for. up to 600 people may have been in the flats when the blaze broke out in the early hours of the morning. they read to ring 999, there is a dedicated line for this incident. eyewitnesses say they saw people trapped in their flats, shouting from their windows, trying to throw their children to safety. there was smoke everywhere, literally everywhere. there was people downstairs, there was bits of the cladding falling off the block that was on fire. people screaming. the london fire brigade desperately struggled to reach the upper floors, but were repelled by the heat and falling debris. around 70 people are being treated
in six london hospitals, 18 of them are in a critical condition. residents are sheltering in nearby community centres, while others search for missing family members. the archbishop of canterbury praises the response of people who've offered food, water and clothes to those who've lost everything. people filling out churches using the buildings, using horse, whatever centres they can find, bringing things, working together. the fire is still smouldering. fire crews say it will still be some hours before it's out. we'll bring you full details in moment. the plumes of smoke are still rising
into the sky this evening. this is glenn foot shower, a shadow of what it once was, a black and charred carcass. it is structurally sound for the moment but engineers are keeping an eye on that and the firefighters who have been here through the course of the day are still working tirelessly on the building to put up a small pockets of fire you can see burning in the middle of the building. it will be, i would think, a day or so before they will be able to work through they will be able to work through the various apartments that are, at the various apartments that are, at the moment unreachable in that apartment block. we know 12 people have been killed. over 70 people we re have been killed. over 70 people were taken to hospital and we have been told by the london ambulance
service, 18 people remain in critical condition. the police are warning us there may be more victims in the hours ahead. so more sad news expected here at north kensington. let's ta ke expected here at north kensington. let's take a look at the surroundings and bring you up to speed with where we are in north kensington. this is grenfell tower, pa rt kensington. this is grenfell tower, part of a housing complex near the westfield shopping centre. it is 24 stories high and in it where 120 flats which were arranged over 20 residential floors. flats which were arranged over 20 residentialfloors. up flats which were arranged over 20 residential floors. up to 600 flats which were arranged over 20 residentialfloors. up to 600 people may have been inside when the fire broke out. most would have been asleep because the fire broke out just before 1am. the cause of the fire isn't known but we know it the alarm was raised just before 1am and the fire crews were on the scene six minutes after being called. over 200 firefighters working around the clock since then. up to 20 hours
they have been working to put out they have been working to put out the fires. oh my god, they're screaming. it is a tragedy that plays to our darkest fears. there was smoke everywhere. literally everywhere. there was people downstairs, bits of cladding falling off the block. screaming. people screaming. oh, oh, oh. the fire started between midnight and 1am. the screams from the flats and the acrid smell of burning, waking neighbours. it was just people jumping out, literally. and putting sheets down to try to get out of the building. windows exploding, big, massive pieces of debris falling to the floor. we came here, saw people jumping off. people had jumped off because they had no other option. how high up? the top floor. i saw people jump.
someone was on fire and he jumped too. he didn't make it. some people picked up their children and threw them out for the police to pick them up because there was no other way out of the building. did you see that as well? i saw kids at the window shouting, help me, help me, i can't breathe. help me. and all these people have lost people in their lives and i know how that feels, yes. my heart goes out to them. the fire raced through the 24 storey council block in this deprived part of north kensington. on the seventh floor, this family were led to safety when a fire officer made it up to their flat. there was smoke everywhere, people screaming. there was a fireman there going, get out, get out. iran back in in my boxer shorts, grabbed the little girl, put her under my dressing gown to cover her face from the smoke, got my girlfriend up, running down, got to the fourth floor and it was pitch black.
this mother and her six—year—old son were also trapped on the seventh floor. for a moment, she thought her best option was to jump through the window with her child in her arms. for a split second, i had that temptation to jump over because the smoke was full. you actually thought aboutjumping from the building? and then your husband grabbed you and took you out? yes, otherwise, my second thought was to jump. many residents have complained to me that the fire alarm was too quiet to hear and that the blaze raced from the bottom to the top of the block in less than 30 minutes. all the time we have lived here, they have said if there is a fire, you have to stay in the flat, the fire can't penetrate the front door. if we had done that, we would have perished. there was no way that was stopping no fire. residents told me that they had complained to the authorities that the recently refurbished building was a disaster
waiting to happen. we tried to take a lot of things to our local mp. it looks like it has been ignored. we were scared this could happen. because if one fire happened, we knew that this would happen. deep poverty and extraordinary wealth live by side—by—side in this part of north london. the block was home to some of kensington's poorest families. with dawn, grim, is expected news, that lives have been lost. i'm looking for my brother. you don't know if he is ok? many people, numb with shock, frantically searched to find missing friends and relatives. this woman's sister and 12—year—old nephew were unaccounted for. my sister and her son. he is 12 years old. a 12—year—old boy? as well as the smoke and the smell of burning,
numb, shock and tension hangs over this area. in the 21st century, in a country with some of the strictest fire regulations in the world, a desperate tragedy like this just should not happen. what floor are you on! ? seven? seven, yeah? well into the morning, the crowds watching the horror unfolding in front of them reported seeing people still trapped in the block. i saw somebody there. waving, in white. in a white shirt? yes. a man was eventually brought out by the emergency services at noon. this off—duty nurse helped tend to some of the injured rescued from the building. i have seen some things, but today... i can't even describe it. there are mothers that have come out and lost their children. there are firefighters that
have come out injured. we don't know if they are even going to come out safe. people have lost their homes, children have seen things, people jumping out the window. we just need to rebuild as a community now. as the community realised the enormity of what had happened, people just did what they could. this woman went to her wardrobe, grabbed a bag of her own clothes to give to those that had none. a bag of clothes, to me, is nothing, when i can help somebody else. you know? this is a community where a lot of people don't have a lot. that generosity is quite something? yes, but they are replaceable. my clothes are replaceable. we love our community. we are heartbroken for our community. this is terrible. this is a disaster for this community. but we are pulling together, the people that have nothing, we are giving things to people that have nothing.
sadly i can confirm that there are now 12 people that have died, that we know of. this will be a long and complex recovery operation. i do anticipate that the number of fatalities will, sadly, increase beyond those 12. this is a neighbourhood that feels ignored. there is anger on the streets. people are demanding answers. this is your building, isn't it? we have a number of high—rise buildings here and in other parts of london. we do have to meet stringent safety standards, and in a refurbishment there will be a thorough inspection by the fire authorities. doesn't seem to have worked? it clearly hasn't, we will have to get the bottom of what has gone wrong. the mayor of london promised there will be a thorough and independent investigation into what happened.
my thoughts and prayers, as i am sure the thoughts and prayers the entire country, with the family and friends of those in the building and affected by this and horrific fire. i would also pay tribute to the amazing emergency services, from the fire service, we have more than 250 firefighters, many of whom have been here since the beginning. the streets of north kensington are littered with ashes. the charred ashes of homework of a school child. but the neighbourhood is also scarred by grief that will not pass for a long time. quite a lot of activity here tonight. many of the fire services are changing over. you did point out in my interview with the deputy fire chief, i did refer to firemen, but there have been men and women,
firefighters going into the building. iam firefighters going into the building. i am happy to correct that. here with me now is carrie hirst from the kensington and chelsea volunteer centre. she manages a project called community champions in the local area and they've been helping out today. we are funded by public health and we are based in kensington and chelsea and westminster. we are community hubs so the project i manages for the notting dale ward, which is here and we work with the residents who live on the estates. obviously today, the news has been very upsetting. tell us about some of the people you have come across, they have lost everything? they have, but community spirit, as ever is an incredible thing. all the local organisations in the area have been inundated with donations and offers of support. we had so many volu nteers offers of support. we had so many volunteers are all desperate to help
however they can. it has been incredible. are you comfortable that the night everybody has a bed? there are the night everybody has a bed? there a re lots of the night everybody has a bed? there are lots of different centres in the area offering space. i am sleeping at the westway tonight, where we have a whole group of people bear. the james hunt and ruby portobello. you have camp beds? yes, mattresses, pillows, sleeping bags. we are not sure what to expect. they are being referred to as by housing organisations and friends and family who went affected by the fire, but they were inside the cordoned. hundreds of people but don't have a home the night, so we will be working through the night. are there people coming from centre to centre still looking for people? there are. but i think by now, the majority of
people have an answer or at least they know what to do in order to find that missing person. there is a number they can call, the centres have information and there is people in the street to help. lots of people around the country want to help. it sounds like you have what you need in the immediate term, food, drink and clothing, what can they do? keep updated with what is going on through social media, to kensington town hall website, the volunteer centre will be updating twitter. and we will be here on the ground updating what's necessary, what the organisations need, what the residents need. but for now, we have a lot of donations and a lot of manpower. thank you for talking to us. manpower. thank you for talking to us. it is good work you are doing and i'm sure you will be busy in days ahead. well, throughout the night stories
emerged of people who'd escaped the tower block and watched the fire as it swept through the building. many are now being sheltered in nearby community centres. and that's where family and friends of those who are missing are also heading, going from centre to centre to try to find their loved ones. our special correspondent lucy manning has been talking to the families caught up in the tragedy. the air was punctuated with the sound of crying. some have lost their home. others, much, much more. they gathered outside the community centre. the one thing nobody could offer was good news. for this family, it was, understandably, to much. my mum, my sister, her daughters and husband. yeah. they are all still in the building. i don't know if they are out, we don't have any information.
susan gave us this picture of her three smiling neices. what floor were they on? the 27th. you haven't been able to contact them? i phoned my sister when she was in, all i could hear was screaming. i was trying to tell her, get out, get to the nearest fire exit. i am shouting, so she can hear. the police officers heard me shouting on the phone. i reallyjust wanted to go in there, basically, do something. i felt helpless, standing there. a blanket, at least. people jumping at the window. in the last hour, she heard news that someone might have spoken to her family. she is hoping it is true. after the panic of the night, the day brought only silence. i haven't seen my brother—in—law, his wife and three children.
the children are aged 20, the boy is 20. a girl of16, 17. a boy of eight years. he spoke to them as they were trapped. i said, why are you not coming? she said, they asking us to stay. she said her husband was talking to the emergency people. they said, they are coming to get us, but the heat and smoke is coming. i said, get a wet blanket, put the kids on the floor and cover them and wait. she said, we can't do it, because the smoke is killing us, the smoke is coming. the smoke is coming through the doors. she is keeping covering it, but it is heavy. that was the last time we have heard from her. for those on the lower floors that did make it out, and to the centre, some relief. i woke up at about 12.45, hearing, help me, a woman screaming, my baby, my baby, and the sounds of chaos.
the police were knocking on the doors, evacuate, evacuate. we felt we had to get the hell out of here, it is going up. ed was saved by his friend calling him and telling him to leave. the smoke was so thick, you couldn't see anything. i got three quarters of the way and then i was using my hands to feel against the wall. i began thinking to myself, this is going to be me, you know? i'm going to die of smoke inhalation. there was actually a fireman lying on the ground. this fireman, he saved my life. he just touched my foot and led me to wear the fire exit was. to where the fire exit was. ed was instrumental in raising concerns about the safety
of the building years ago. this accident never needed to happen. if people listened to what we were saying, what the blog were saying, what members of the community were saying. inside the centre, those waiting for news or have lost their homes are gathered downstairs in the hall. as you can imagine, it is a fairly distressing situation. at times, people are sobbing as they wait for news. news that, at this stage, will possibly not be good news. it is also busy in there. they are getting help with housing, with food, and the medical help. they have no homes to go back to. now, it is notjust the burned—out building that looms over this community, but the fear that they will hear that many more of their neighbours have died. there may be plenty of sad days
ahead but there is anger as well. there were concerns about the safety of this building as far back as november. some of you may have seen on social media, excerpts from a blog. the grand fell action group said there were problems with entry and exit, they have problems with the improvement works, the evacuation procedures, emergency lighting and access for emergency vehicles. after the fire, the group posted today, all our warnings fell on deaf ears and we predicted a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time. the criticism was aimed at the group who manages the block. it is managed by the kensington and chelsea
management organisation and on behalf of them, robert blake has given this statement. it is hard for me to comment about anything at the moment because of the investigation. if you listen to the police and the fire brigade, just before i came here, they are saying the same thing. they are still putting the fire out, still trying to find homes for people to go to the night. still trying to find everybody. what we are trying to do is on the ground, put support in place to address these things. that is my key focus. all the rest we will be addressing in the mastication. do you think the stay in the flat instruction was partly to blame for the loss of life? i don't know how to answer that because i don't know the consequences, where or how the lives we re consequences, where or how the lives were lost. all i am saying is, across london and other places, you have a staple policy because that is
what the fire brigade advise. there was a message to inside housing about the blog not being inspected for 18 month well the inspection took place, were certain things behind schedule, do you think?” cannot mention specifics because they will be looked into. it doesn't sound like anything i know.” they will be looked into. it doesn't sound like anything i know. i know some of the alarms had to be hard—wired in the flats, ijust wonder if that work had been completed? any work that was done during the refurbishment was completed and signed off and that is our position. that is what we will be able to show as we go through this enquiry. so there were all hard—wired, the this enquiry. so there were all ha rd—wired, the alarms? this enquiry. so there were all hard—wired, the alarms?” this enquiry. so there were all hard-wired, the alarms? i cannot really a nswer at hard-wired, the alarms? i cannot really answer at the moment. i don't know the details. i am just trying to provide assurance and make sure people are safe. do you know how
many people were in at the time? we wouldn't know that, 140 flats, people come and go. we still try to find out where these people are because they were in different places. that was robert black from the kensington and chelsea tenant management organisation. we are expecting to hear from the prime minister in the next few minutes. i can tell you she is promising a full and proper investigation. she has been kept abreast of events here through the course of the day. so a full and proper investigation is what the prime minister is promising. here with me now is professor tony travers from the london school of economics. he's an expert in local government. we have just been listening to robert black from the management organisation which tells us how these blocks are run, it is a complex organisational structure? yes, people will remember councils
running council houses. in some cases, local authorities gave over the housing to housing associations, not—for—profit companies and in this case and a number of others, to a te na nt case and a number of others, to a tenant management organisation, arms length from the council, separate and responsible for the work on it. nevertheless, running the housing as if for the council. so there is still a link back to the council because it is their property. it is them who are responsible for nominating tenants into the building. ok, but where does the book fall? it is complicated and too early to draw any conclusions because in an incident like this, the fire brigade will have responsibilities for giving advice on how a building like this should be protected against fire. the organisation that runs it, the management organisation will be responsible for reacting to that and
then the fire brigade to inspecting that. all of this within central government setting rules to do with building standards. when the prime minister promises an enquiry, it will have to look at all of these aspects of it, because you have different levels of government involved. obviously, there have been concerns expressed by the residents, which we werejust concerns expressed by the residents, which we were just talking about. what happens if a group like this just ignores them? we mustn't prejudge any of this because i am sure any group of tenants living in a block like this will have complaints from time to time. an enquiry would have to look at the complaints made and see whether there was an appropriate response to there was an appropriate response to the concerns as expressed. that is why an enquiry, first by the fire brigade i am guessing, and then, as the prime minister has announced, is essential to get to the bottom of what happened. we need to look at
this over a short time, but with detailed enquiries so it is possible to see where the responsibility lies. the mp for hammersmith, who was with me earlier was saying it is going to get more complex in social housing blocks like this because of the right to buy scheme. when you have an organisation which manages the block, they do renovations for the block, they do renovations for the whole block but when you have somebody who has their own apartment, maybe they don't do the same renovations as the organisation might? it is possible. in other homes, there will be different safety sta nda rds homes, there will be different safety standards than there would be inside a council house. it is all these aspects of this complex issue which will have to be reviewed in order to get to the bottom of why such a tragedy could possibly occur. different parts of government and their responsibilities will have to be investigated. on a huge
renovation project we saw a year ago, who is it ultimately that a pproves ago, who is it ultimately that approves the renovation and signs it off? is it the group of the council? i cannot answer that for 100%, i thought it would be the tenant's group, the tenant management group would do that. but again, that is something that will be investigated. 0k, something that will be investigated. ok, thank you very much. obviously there will be lessons learned and to see if it could be avoided. there have been reviews taken place in the past and we hoped lessons would be learned. tom edwards has been looking back. knowing full well this isn't going
to end well, it is heartbreaking. angela lives on the 19th floor in the block opposite grenfell tower. after last night she is concerned about the fire risk in her own building. the first thing that came to my mind at 3am what is that security protocol for this building it some other similar happen? what would he do, word with the go? this raises questions about london's housing stock. the last major fatal fire was a lakanal house in southwark in 2009. six people died. after that the coroner made recommendations that the government should clarify if residents should stay put a get out if there is a fire. councils should retrofit sprinklers and simplify building regulations about what can be changed. the chances of getting a
fire are very low... in 2010 the london assembly also highlighted concerns about the capital's high—rise housing stock. concerns about the capital's high-rise housing stock. we found there is a relatively low risk of having a fire in a tall building. you are fairly safe. but the big problem is, if there is fired then advise is often not given about the right way to behave. landlords are probably not giving enough information to their tenants and perhaps councils not giving enough advice to the landlords. according to city hall, about 8% of london's population live in blocks of flats over 11 stories tall, around 690,000 people. most were built in the late 60s and early 70s, but more are now being planned for the future as the capital grows. there have been changes, southwark council says it gives a regularfire risk changes, southwark council says it gives a regular fire risk assessment to its blocks. the fire unions and
campaigners have, for many years, been calling for the government to review building regulations. lessons have not been learned. today is an absolute tragedy and it is caused by the lack of proper regulation of refurbishment standards. the government have been pressed for a number of years by the all—party parliamentary committee on safety. to do parliamentary committee on safety. todoa parliamentary committee on safety. to do a review of the building regulations to test the integrity of materials that are used in refurbishment is and they have continually put this off. the government says that work is still ongoing and checks will now be carried out on blocks going through similar refurbishment. but there is now anger and questions. what happened in lakanal house, after it had been refurbished, the refurbishment had compromised the fire compartmentalised nation and the fire spread. it looks like that is what has happened in granville house, it has been refurbished and
the compartmentalisation of the fire has been compromised so it has spread and people have lost their lives. there has been a lot of publicity around what should be done about external cladding and what should be done about tower blocks being fire proved inside properly and a fire should not be spreading beyond the flat where it breaks out. people should be able to be evacuated and wait for the fire brigade to do with the incident. it is difficult to see why this has happened and there is not many excuses for it. this man lives in the block opposite and hasn't been able to contact a friend who lives in grunfeld able to contact a friend who lives in gru nfeld tower. able to contact a friend who lives in grunfeld tower. if you move to the right, you can see where the smoke is about now. that is where she used to live. while it is unclear why this fire happened, it is very clear that safeguards failed. there has been plenty of
finger—pointing,... let's speak now to graham fieldhouse, a consultant fire safety expert for social housing and was also in the london fire brigade high rise building fire group. why'd you think lessons perhaps have not been learned ? why'd you think lessons perhaps have not been learned? one of the issues, and our condolences go out to the families, one of the issues that came up families, one of the issues that came up was families, one of the issues that came up was the surface spread of fire from the outside of the building and it would appear something similar is the case so why checks done, what fire testing certification was in place and did the people who are looking at the testing did they have the necessary skills and expertise to understand what they were looking at? the other questions is the fire doors. even if the fire hit a flat, each of the flats is like a shoe box, they should have given you a 30 minute
protection so when you've stuck next to each other, each should be protected 30 minutes so the flat front doors should have given protection. witness reports say it was full of smoke, where did that come from, what the windows on the floor is causing the smoke to get there was at the doors themselves and the other question is people saying they did not hear any alarms or have alarms. that should have been a or have alarms. that should have beena minimum or have alarms. that should have been a minimum ld grade three f system. that is the typical one you might have at home, battery operated stuck on the ceiling. the recommendations would be for an elderly grade ii, grade d system which would have been a heat in the kitchen and smoke in the hallway so if we had those. we will come back to but we are expecting a statement from may which will come in about now i think. she says she wants a full investigation so let's listen
to what theresa may have to say. we have some technical problems with that. we will crash into that if and when it happens. while we are waiting for the prime minister, i might interrupt you again, what do you think, you alluded to it, you think it was the panels on the side of this building that made the fire jump of this building that made the fire jump as quickly as it did from floor to floor? the concrete as we can see, does not really burn. something has to have set the fire in the manner it did and the ferocity it did and one would think either the panelling that was used or the packing behind the panelling was not too required fire spread standard and that is what we need to look at. is it acceptable for a building like
this behind us to not have water sprinklers because we all working big office blocks and above my desk at the bbc there is a sprinkler system that will kick in if there was a fire, why does a building like this not have one? in some countries in scotland, it insists on sprinkler systems now, the uk has been encouraging sprinkler systems for quite some time although sprinklers themselves will not stop a fire from killing someone in the flat of origin because they do not usually go off until the heat in the flat is raised to a level. it would give firefighters more time to get to the upper firefighters more time to get to the upperfloors firefighters more time to get to the upper floors and save more firefighters more time to get to the upperfloors and save more people. absolutely. why are we not insisting on properfire doors because absolutely. why are we not insisting on proper fire doors because that may have been an issue, it is an issue i have come across were people remove the door closes so doors with integral closes and have the
certification, that is what we want, not global certification which people use which means the door has been tested individually. with your co nsulta nt been tested individually. with your consultant fire safety hat on, what would the investigators look at and where might they look when they start investigating? one of the thing you need to investigate, under an approved document regulation, the government document in relation to fire safety in building works, one of the requirements is for you to hand over suitable information about the systems you have used unsuitable certification so i would want to look at was it handed over, was the person who looked at that competence to look at that and would they get the advice from and somebody like sir ken knights who has done a number of investigations in the past would be an ideal candidate to get to the bottom of that and other
factors. there is a requirement for within blocks of flats to be checked annually, was that happening, what adores working and door closes working properly? fire alarm systems, wage a fire risk assessment you should do a sample of the flats. more regular than 2015? the judge in a recent case suggested annually or though there was no specific statement when it should be done but i would recommend statement when it should be done but iwould recommend in statement when it should be done but i would recommend in a tower block this ilk you should be done annually. interesting thoughts. thank you for being with us. i think we do have control of the theresa may tape so let's play it. i have received the latest update on the tragedy at grenfell tower, 12 people have been confirmed dead in this terrible fire that has taken place and sadly the police expect that number to rise further and my thoughts are with the victims, their families and all of those who had
their homes destroyed. it is impossible to comprehend the horror of what they have been going through. the response of people living nearby who have provided help, compassion and support has once again shown fantastic spirit of london. earlier today i ordered cross government meeting to ensure that every assistance was given to manage the emergency service response and that group will meet again tomorrow and once again our emergency services, the fire service, ambulance, nhs and police, have shown incredible bravery working in truly appalling conditions and their work will continue for some time and i know everybody will want to join me in thanking them for their amazing bravery. many people will be working around the clock in the nhs to treat those who have been injured and working elsewhere to provide help and support to those who have no home to return to. of course, once the scene is secure, once the
recovery is complete, an investigation will take place into the cause of the fire and if there are any lessons to be learnt but until then our focus must be on ensuring emergency services have what they need to continue with their harrowing work and help and support is provided to all those who have suffered as a result of this tragedy. at the meeting of the civil contingencies secretariat it was agreed further checks will be carried out on similar tower blocks. what would you say to those who say perhaps this should have happened before and there are some claims also that the government last year promised to bring in tougher regulations and that has not happened. our focus today is on ensuring there is every support available to the emergency services and in their typical worker ms terrible conditions but also in providing help and support to those who have been victims. we must rememberthere are who have been victims. we must remember there are people today are
a who have no home to go to. our focus must be on providing support to them. in due course when the scene to them. in due course when the scene is secure and it is possible to identify the cause of this fire then there will be proper investigation and if there any lessons to be learnt they will be and action be taken. the prime minister speaking a short time ago. there will be a proper investigation and if lessons need to be learned, they will be and action will be taken. this time we would normally be tuning into outside source. let's cross to ros atkins in our central london studio for a closer look at what we know about the cause of the fire and the building. we will take a few minutes to look at what we never grenfell tower. it is in west london in an area called north kensington. you can see it marked that with football pitches nearby. this is what is happening to
the tower just nearby. this is what is happening to the towerjust half an hour after the towerjust half an hour after the first calls went into the emergency servicesjust the first calls went into the emergency services just before one o'clock in the morning but almost the entire building became engulfed very quickly which raises questions about the construction of the tower. this is an architectural design of the building, we have marked the fourth floor in green because that is where we believe the fire originated but there are 24 stories in total, 20 of which are residential. as you can see in this diagram which is one floor it is divided into six flats and that makes up 120 divided into six flats and that makes up120 in divided into six flats and that makes up 120 in the building in total. this council flats were managed by the kensington and chelsea tenant management organisation on behalf of the royal borough of kensington and chelsea. we know this but recently underwent refurbishment which cost in the region of £10 million. he is one councillor talking about the refurbishments. it has been recently
refurbished and clad, they replaced the kitchens and the heating system so the kitchens and the heating system soi the kitchens and the heating system so i would have thought it would have been the safest tower block in the borough. we have had fires in tower blocks before but nothing like this. the counsellor talked about new cladding and there are questions being asked about whether the new cladding contributed to the speed at which the fire spread. clearly, something went catastrophically wrong here, the bbc spoke to one fire and building expert who said this block didn't perform in the way you would expect a building to perform, you would expect the fire to be contained to an individual apartment but he goes on to say something has gone dramatically wrong here. we know the company that carried out the refurbishment work has put out a statement saying its work met all fire regulation and health and safety sta nda rds. fire regulation and health and safety standards. we also know residents had raised safety concerns backin
residents had raised safety concerns back in november last year, this is a blog post from the grenfell tower action group. in this post, the group raises fire safety concerns analytic uses the towers landlord, the same talent management organisation of failing to address those concerns. the action group predicts it will not be long before the words of this blog come back to haunt the management. so many concerns, locations of heating interface units, concerns about escape and getting in and out and lighting and i heard the firearms did not go off in the building. i was not surprised. i was not surprised, shocked, terrified at the people living here but not surprised. and these signs were posted all over the tower, the signs
advise residents, there is a staple policy residents unless the fire is in or affecting your flat. in other words, you are not directly impacted, stay put. this is a policy that applies to lots of these types of tower blocks in the uk since the 19505, of tower blocks in the uk since the 1950s, based on the assumption which we had a moment ago that when a fire sta rts we had a moment ago that when a fire starts it can be contained in one pa rt starts it can be contained in one part of the building. evidently in this case tragically that did not happen. the role of this kind of advice in the amount of loss of life we have seen will be one many policies and decisions that are being very urgently reviewed. that is very useful, thank you. i'm joined now by luke barratt, who is the business editor at inside housing, which is a publication focused on social housing. the building was being refurbished
between 2015 and 2016 and as part of that refurbishment the heating was replaced in the building and the building is heated by pipes that run through each of the floors and in order to replace the heating, they had to change all of the pipes, take at the old pipes and put in new pipes to do that they had to replace the fire stopping in between the floors and those are fire safety systems intended to stop fire spreading from floor to floor. plan was temporarily replace the fire stopping and put it back in but at this point questions have to be raised about what safeguards there we re raised about what safeguards there were to ensure it was replaced properly. furthermore, according to information released by kensington and chelsea council and a freedom of information, the last fire risk assessment was carried out on the building in december 2015 which was
before the further schmidt was completed so one would have thought you would want to assess the building after the refurbishment. that is the point i put to the lse, who ultimately would be responsible for that, kensington and chelsea te na nt for that, kensington and chelsea tenant management organisation or the borough council? per hour range of people involved with the refurbishment and it would be wrong to speculate who would be responsible for it. or indeed whether fire stopping was replaced at all. for all we know, it was replaced but the question is around the safeguards as to how it was replaced. the construction company haveissued replaced. the construction company have issued a brief statement saying that when they handed building over passed all its building regulations and the tenants organisation was quite satisfied with how it was done. indeed. and that is why we should not jump to done. indeed. and that is why we should notjump to any conclusions at this stage about how the fire
stopping was replaced. it is releva nt to stopping was replaced. it is relevant to point out that it was not assessed fully after the refurbishment. finally, for your report you must have spoken to the action group and residents in the block, was it clear to you they were unhappy with some of the safety measures? i did not speak to a non—personally but reading their blogs it is clear they were highlighting their concerns about the building in terms of fire and whether or not those match up to the things that we have highlighted in our articles is not certain. ok, thank you. interestingly, tee—macro reports written on whether there should have been more fire reports after the refurbishment was done. the community here have been helping out and people going through with bags of food and water and clothing
and anything they can do to help. there are lots of community centres and churches but also mosques and ladbroke mosque is playing quite a significant role this evening. karl mercer has been to see them. people coming with bags and bringing food and here we are at the mosque and cultural centre just half a food and here we are at the mosque and cultural centrejust half a mile from the scene and you can see just how busy it is and if we walk inside when we arrived at 12pm there was hardly anything here, hardly anybody here but take a look at what has happened since then. come on in. this room has been full, water and food has been taken out to those in need and if we swing around to the other side of the room, we have lots of clothes that have been donated and bedding as well. as i say, something that has been happening across west london this afternoon, people walking up to us and offering
us people walking up to us and offering us assistance but we are joined by the chief executive of the cultural centre and the mosque. a difficult day for the community. that is the situation, unfortunately, many people are worried about their loved ones, there are people who do not know what happened to their loved ones, they have no information. in the meantime, we are trying to do our best to offer every help people need, we have been inundated with the generosity of the community people have been calling us from gatwick and luton to offer any assistance we need, supplying us with food, blankets, everything. some of your staff have families and many worshippers will worship here? yes, staff members have family members in the building and we do not know what happened to them. worshippers as well, so it is quite
a difficult situation we are in but who are trying to cope by providing all the emotional and material support the community needs. thank you very much. the effort continues here and it will continue through the night. and across other parts close to the fire. we heard from luke barrett, who raised concerns that a fire check was not done after the refurbishment is on grenfell tower,... let's tower, . .. speak to tony devenish is the conservative london assembly member for west central and sits on the housing, planning and regeneration committees. he's in our central london newsroom. listening to the interview with luke barrett who works for inside housing saying his concern was a fire check was not done after the refurbishment, with that concern you? i think i would start by saying
it is amazing what the emergency services have done today and how the community has come together. all the issues you are talking about are valuable issues but they offer tomorrow and the greeks going forward about a focus on the good news in terms of the community getting together this is a serious loss of life and clearly we cannot jump loss of life and clearly we cannot jump to conclusions on the technical aspects you were discussing earlier. no, quite right. it is too early to jump no, quite right. it is too early to jump to conclusions. there will be a lot of people in housing blocks, not just in london were to run the country who will be concerned about renovations done on their blocks, should they be worried and do we need to look closer at some of the renovations that have been done? they should not be worried, we do not want to get wild speculation but i know local authorities all that is looking into this as of this morning and my local authority is doing so and my local authority is doing so and i'm sure many others across the country are so, yes, we need to be
going into the detail and they will be reviewed but we do not want to worry people unnecessarily.” be reviewed but we do not want to worry people unnecessarily. i accept that that while the review is taking place, will you have to take extra precautions, fire wardens at some of these blocks around the country?” was ina these blocks around the country?” was in a meeting earlier and we are looking at various measures, i do not want to speculate on specifics but i can assure you a lot of work is all ready and away across london, i cannot speak to the rest of the country. when you sit in the london assembly and talk about housing, there is huge pressure on housing, of these kind of housing blocks, are they still valid option? will need a real mix of housing, the mayor... it isa real mix of housing, the mayor... it is a cross—party issue, we all agree we need more housing and a mixture so we need more housing and a mixture so yes, tower blocks in certain parts are so yes, tower blocks in certain parts a re pa rt so yes, tower blocks in certain parts are part of the solution but not across all parts of london. i
had a great believer in democratic accountability and local authorities and each have their own community aspects and are looking at the issue, some areas do like tower blocks as part of the mix, some do not. yes, after an incident like this, would there be a review about some of the emergency provisions in a housing block like this, many people have talked about the one exit, one stairwell out of the building, presumably it is possible to build buildings that are more modern with proper exits, maybe two and buildings with water sprinklers fitted? or those aspects will be looked at in due course, absolutely as crucial things we should look at after this serious loss of life. i will not speculate on a point by point basis, that would be wrong. 0k, point basis, that would be wrong. ok, good of you tojoin us. thank you very much. plenty of people are
milling around. whereabouts do you live, ben? a kilometre away in another block tower and i can tell you it is very disconcerting to walk out of my front door, i'm a film—maker and used to work in hollywood and it looked like a disaster movie. it was crazy. were you woken in the night were you aware of what was going on? not until this morning when i have a helicopter circling. and your first instinct is take a photo but then see what you can do to help. we had from tony devenish from the london assembly saying people do not need to panic, richard remain calm about the blocks they live in adage is any natural after something like that that you start to think about how would i get out of my block and is my blocks safe and what provisions are there? yeah, it is important to be prepared for the situations and to look around your block of flats
and plan an escape route if something were to happen. we have two stairwells and i know with the dry rises are and i'm aware of it, i live on the seventh floor and i think if i had tojump i might survive. that is the horrifying thing that we heard, people had to make that decision. yeah, that is something i would not want to do. if anyone is up on the top, they really do not stand a chance. it was fully involved. have you been getting involved. have you been getting involved with people today?” involved. have you been getting involved with people today? i made a movie about what is going on, seeing the firemen who had been their first responders completely devastated, people offering them water, streets are full of locals and all i saw was compassion for what had happened and people trying to help in they could. i went and offered at one of the local centres to let them know i have a spare room. ok, we will pause
for a moment. the reaction of the community has been quite extraordinary. i have watched people come and go with all sorts, bags of shopping, clothes, toiletries, toothbrushes. it looked like a parade, people were pulling up like a parade, people were pulling up with bags and unloading boxes and bla nkets up with bags and unloading boxes and blankets and food and that outpouring of desire to pitch in, i have never seen anything like that andi have never seen anything like that and i have a great admiration for london in general and the british people that they just london in general and the british people that theyjust immediately step in and want to do the right thing. i saw one picture of the firefighters, the men and women who been up and down the tower all—day, in incredible conditions, the smoke in the stairwells, a hot day as well, your hat goes off to them.
indeed, i had a chat with some of them and some of them had been there since one o'clock in the morning and this was at eight o'clock that they had done a full shift, they were drenched with sweat, some had tears in their eyes, some had to sit down andi in their eyes, some had to sit down and i was giving them their space and i was giving them their space and letting them process this but they were devastated. then, thank you for coming to talk to us. we will be here in the next few minutes, will carry on our coverage down here at tower but for the moment will pause and get some weather. temperatures reached 27 degrees this afternoon falling short of other parts of western europe where there isa parts of western europe where there is a real summer heatwave, 34 degrees in toulouse and 39 celsius in sarah goss. this is the weather front responsible, you can see it on
a satellite image pushing into the west of ireland and it will bring a drop in temperature and strengthening breeze through tomorrow. tonight, we will see rain spreading across parts of northern ireland and into western parts of scotla nd ireland and into western parts of scotland and by the end of the night, cloud and patchy rain into western wales and the far south—west. away from that, partly clear skies and a muggy night, temperatures not dropping below the teams. temperature is lift up under hazy sunshine in the morning, in the west patchy rain and drizzle but breitling skies into the latter stage of the morning, scotland, northern ireland and northern england, isolated showers pushing eastwards and after a lift in temperatures they will drop back a little to end the day. compared to today, more of a breeze across the uk and still quite pleasant after morning cloud patchy rain in the south—west and across wales we will see sunshine return after a cloudy speuin see sunshine return after a cloudy spell in the early afternoon. temperature is peaking at 2425.
across northern england, sunshine in between, northern ireland and scotla nd between, northern ireland and scotland fairly frequent showers of the afternoon but in between a bit of sunshine. through thursday evening, the showers will continue for a time across parts of scotland, northern england and northern ireland, clearer skies elsewhere and ta ke ireland, clearer skies elsewhere and take us through thursday into friday a slightly fresh start than tomorrow morning. dry and bright weather around across southern and eastern areas but cloud sickens across northern ireland and patchy rain in the morning spreading into western scotla nd the morning spreading into western scotland and parts of north—west england. further south you are, better cloud breaks and tempters similarto better cloud breaks and tempters similar to those thursday. high pressure builds into the weekend, sunniest conditions across the south, more the breeze further north with further rain in western areas but by sunday we could see our first
30 degrees day of the so far. you are watching bbc news, you are watching bbc news. a huge blaze has ripped through a tower block killing 12 people with many still unaccounted for. up to 600 people lived there. the fire broke outjust before 1.00am the morning local time — fire crews were on the scene within six minutes. you need to ring 999, there is a dedicated line for this incident. the fire was still raging as dawn broke. it's feared many are still unaccounted for. the london fire brigade desperately struggled to reach the upper floors, but were repelled by the heat and falling debris.