Grenfell tower fire

How the residents of Grenfell Tower were failed

In April 2010, seven years before the building was burned to the ground, a smaller fire broke out at Grenfell Tower, leaving three residents injured and exposing a serious problem with the block. Instead of funnelling smoke out of the building, the tower’s smoke extraction system simply moved it up to higher floors. This was extremely worrying in a block with just one escape staircase. ‘Should a fire occur in the staircase of Grenfell Tower, there will be no escape route for residents of Grenfell Tower,’ wrote leaseholder Shah Ahmed in May 2010. ‘This raises serious health and safety issues and could trap the residents of building in a fire