Grenfell Fire Doors Failed

The front of the Silent March for Grenfell making its way down Kensington High Street
The front of the Silent March for Grenfell making its way down Kensington High Street

DOORS for flats in Grenfell Tower could only hold back a fire for half the time they were designed to, a police investigation has found.

Experts said a door was supposed to resist fire for 30 minutes, but only lasted 15 minutes in tests.

The test was part of a Met Police probe into the fire in west London in which so many people died.

Natasha Elcock, a survivor from the tower and a representative of the bereaved and survivors’ group Grenfell United, said: ‘It’s shocking – first the cladding and insulation, then the doors. Who knows what else is putting people’s lives at risk? The government should have improved regulations after previous fires.’

On Wednesday evening, over a thousand local residents, supporters and youth took part in the ninth silent march through Kensington, beginning at the borough’s Town Hall. Zeyed Cred, march organiser, addressing the march, said that there were also silent marches in Bristol and Northern Ireland taking place at the same time.

He paid tribute to Grenfell United, Kids on the Green, Faisal at Grenfell Speaks and Justice4Grenfell for helping organise the march. Addressing the rally after the march, he said: ‘We need everyone to know that the voices of the survivors and relatives of the bereaved will never be silenced.’

Shahin Sadafi, chair of Grenfell United, told the rally: ‘This community is made up of the most resilient people I have met and we will make sure no stone is left unturned to get to the truth.

‘We want everyone in social housing to be able to feel safe in their home.’

Earlier, as the march was assembling, Floyd Wilson told News Line: ‘I worked in Housing for Ealing Council, for their development team. I now live with my family on North Kensington.

‘I am here because I am angry. I know first hand about fires, how you plan and design for fire safety. Clearly this was not done in the case of Grenfell Tower. When I was working for Ealing there was a fire in the Golf Links estate.

‘The fire consumed 105 flats. At the time it was recorded as the biggest post-war fire. Because of the safety measures that we put in the building, one person was taken to hospital with smoke inhalation and the lady whose flat the fire started in burned her arm trying to put it out.

‘Everyone else escaped without injury. That was 1986 – so what makes me angry is that there was never a desire to enforce health and safety fire legislation. For them it is always about money not people.’