Action group claims there were issues with evacuation procedures at Grenfell Tower

Action group claims there were issues with evacuation procedures at Grenfell Tower

An action group at a west London tower block ravaged by a deadly fire has said its warnings fell on "deaf ears" after it highlighted safety concerns.

The cause of the blaze at Grenfell Tower, north Kensington, is not known, but a blog post from Grenfell Action Group in November said "only a catastrophic event" would expose the issues.

Several hundred people are thought to have been in the block when the fire was reported at 1.15am on Wednesday, and London Fire Brigade confirmed there had been a "number of fatalities".

The group said there was only one entry and exit to the tower during improvement works at the block in Latimer Road and it had issues with evacuation procedures.

Action group claims there were issues with evacuation procedures at Grenfell Tower

After the fire, the group posted: "All our warnings fell on deaf ears and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time."

The group claimed access to the building was "severely restricted" for emergency services and other vehicles and that residents were advised to stay in their flats in case of fire.

The tower block was recently refurbished at a cost of £8.7m, with work completed in May last year.

The exterior of the 1970s-built tower was modernised with cladding and replacement windows, while additional homes were added using vacant space in the building.

On its website, Rydon Construction said: "Externally, rain screen cladding, curtain wall facade and replacement windows were fitted, improving thermal insulation and modernising the exterior of the building."

But a resident of the 17th floor of the block, identified as Methrob, told LBC Radio the "real issue was when it caught fire to the cladding outside".

He added: "That's when I noticed the fire from outside when I looked out the window.

"By the time that we got downstairs, the fire had gone all the way up and it was just about reaching our windows on the 17th floor.

"The whole one side of the building was on fire. The cladding went up like a matchstick."

Methrob said residents had been concerned about safety, adding there had been warnings "for over a year".

He said one man was "trying to get everyone to get together to do something before it was too late".

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