On 14th June 2017, a catastrophic fire broke out in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of flats in North Kensington, West London. The disaster was responsible for over 70 injuries and a harrowing 72 deaths.  Significant evidence has surfaced to provide insight on how the fire at Grenfell Tower was not only predictable, but also preventable. 

Our government was reportedly warned about Grenfell-style cladding years before the fire in 2014. A letter from the Centre for Window and Cladding Technology (CWCT) to the government claimed that remediation had been agreed which would have demanded higher standards for cladding in 2014. In the dispute between the government and the cladding industry, the government claimed that it was unclear whether or not flammable cladding was officially prohibited from the guidance report. A survivor from the incident and part of the campaign group ‘Grenfell United’ said on a report for Inside Housing Magazine that “The more we learn about what happened before Grenfell, from council to government to industry, the more we believe 72 people would be alive today if those in power had done their basic duty. To see the government was specifically warned about the dangers of using of this type of cladding years before the fire, before the refurbishment of Grenfell, is devastating. It adds to the growing list of warnings that were ignored.”

Furthermore, Dame Judith Hackitt’s (British engineer) report claims that UK building regulations are stuck in a ‘time warp’. The lack of action for remediation from the government ultimately means that thousands, if not millions, of UK residents still live in towers with combustible ACM cladding. At the time of this article, it is appalling that traumatised locals are still, nearly three and a half years later, being forced to live in the shadow of the burnt-out tower.