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Eyewitnesses: no fire alarms in 'devastating' Grenfell blaze

Eyewitnesses to a tower block blaze in west London in the early hours of this morning said no alarms went off to warn residents.

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Eyewitnesses to a tower block blaze in west London in the early hours of this morning said no alarms went off to warn residents.

Grenfell Tower is a block of council-owned flats in Kensington where a fire consumed the building shortly before 1am on Wednesday morning.


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Local residents at the scene told Inside Housing no fire alarms rang to warn sleeping residents of the fire.

John, who did not wish to give his surname, said the first he heard of the fire, which had started on his floor, was from a neighbour shouting to warn others.

He said: “There was smoke on the landing and the fire was in one of the flats on the other side of the building. I thought the fire had been put out but then it was burning up the outside of the building. It was my sister’s flat and I was just staying there while she’s on holiday in Cyprus. She’s got nothing to come back to.”

A resident from a neighbouring tower block said she did not hear any fire alarms, “only children screaming”.

“People were waving for attention; I think there were children and babies," resident Holly Maisanda

Khadija Naciri, who lives in a council-owned block nearby, said she has never been given advice by her landlord on what to do if there is a fire.

However, council residents from other blocks said there were instructions on hallway notice boards in their blocks.

Ms Naciri said she could see people shouting from windows and others throwing themselves out to escape the smoke.

Hilly Maisanda, a resident in a nearby council block who witnessed the fire spreading, said: “People were waving for attention; I think there were children and babies. It was devastating, very shocking.”

One resident from a neighbouring block, Vassiliki S-Lorraine, said she had raised concerns about being able to escape her flat in the event of a fire with the tenant management organisation but they had told her there was no need to worry.

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