Today sadly marks the second anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire. Where on the 17th of June at 1am in a 24-storey block of flats in North Kensington, a fire broke out on the 4th floor. Causing the death of 72 residents, injuring over 70 and leaving 223 without a home to live. Many lives were affected by this tragic event by losing relatives, being haunted by the memories and still having no place to call home. The outcry of the victims and the community as whole, even after two years calls for justice.
Today definitely marks a day of remembrance for the people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, not just in London but across the UK. But for the many victims of this tragedy, the need for accountability and justice is still being fought till this day. While a public inquiry is still ongoing, few answers have been provided to the families and the justice they deserve. Asking for the government and the council to do more for the people affected by this event, which has not been listened to. Even after two years, many of the victims who lost their homes still haven’t been placed in suitable accommodation and are still residing in hotels. Other questions also point to the general safety and upkeep of the block of flats.
Considering the vulnerable cladding which was used for the 24-storey flat, which proved to be deadly as it accelerated the growth of the fire when it occurred. Also the lack of sprinklers which could’ve been used to prevent the fire. The list could go on as to what the flat needed in order to protect the lives of the residents. As none of these measures were there it shows the lack of concern for the residents which lived there by the council and the tenant management organisation which oversaw the building of these council houses. Many of the families of those affected are still pondering over the lack of safety developments in the flat, two years after the fire.
It’s been pointed out that many existing and newly developed buildings have similar cladding to that used on Grenfell Tower. It’s been questioned whether this type of cladding should be banned on residential buildings, given how dangerous it is and pleas for it to be removed. Recently in Barking, East London where 20 flats were in a blaze which had similar cladding to the one used on the Grenfell Tower. Again pointing questions to the building organisations to take urgent action and for the government to do the same also.
The Government Response
The current governments response of the incident is questionable with a reported 15% reduction in the budget for fire services, which seems illogical given how greatly the emergency services were needed in evacuating residents and trying to combat the blaze. But with this action provided by the Tory government, it proves to be dangerous going further in the event that any fires occur across the UK.
Other politicians stand in solidarity with the tragic event which occurred two years ago such as MP David Lammy, Diane Abbott and Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn. Asking and pushing for a justice and answers to be delivered to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Looking back at this heartbreaking event which claimed many lives and affected even more within the community. I hope that going forward that swift justice is given to the many lives which were drastically affected. And also the need for communities to be unified and not remaining silent in the face of injustice still being shown to this day. We as a nation must remember the 72 lives which were taken by this unfortunate event, by striving for accountability and answers for this tragic incident.