Anger was building today over the blaze at Grenfell Tower as Theresa May ordered a public inquiry in to the disaster.
Amid the huge relief effort, which saw hundreds of people donate all the food, clothes, and water they could, there were murmurings of a community frustrated that their warnings fell on deaf ears.
Emergency services arrived on the scene within six minutes, volunteers called the missing persons line ‘disorganised’ and voiced anger at the recent £9m renovation of the block.
“There is a huge amount of shock and anger on the streets. A lot of people saying ‘we told them’,” said Mike Long, 53, Notting Hill Methodist church minister.
“There is a lot of anger about housing issues locally, and even before this, it was a big concern. It’s hard to find the words to do justice to it.
“There will be a huge fallout from this.”
Launching the inquiry, Theresa May said it was imperative for the sequence of events at Grenfell Tower to be established quickly.
“We need to know what happened, we need to have an explanation of this. We owe that to the families, to the people who have lost loved ones, friends, and the homes in which they live,” she said.
Mounting outrage over both the fire itself and the response became apparent today, as both the prime minister and mayor of London Sadiq Khan faced hostile receptions when visiting the site.
Small boy asks Sadiq Khan at #Grenfelltower ‘how many children died’ and ‘what are you going to do about it’
— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) June 15, 2017
Mr Khan demanded urgent answers and an interim report from the inquiry by the end of the summer.
The community was in disbelief at how a fire said to have started through a faulty fridge on the fourth floor could have engulfed the entire building in just 15 minutes.
Significant attention has now turned to the company in charge of managing the building – the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation.
In a chilling blog post of November last year, the Grenfell Action Group said: “It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord.”
Stephen Wren, 44, director of Westway Trust, said many people outraged at the speed at which the blaze spread.
He said: “There is a lot of anger here at the moment if I’m honest. Questions are being asked of how a modern building can burn so quickly.”
Fire safety experts raised fears that the cladding installed on the exterior of the building in 2015 could have created a ‘chimney’ effect which allowed the blaze to expand.
As news of the scale of death and destruction incurred in the disaster began to emerge, Tarasi Pope, 25, support worker, said: “How are you going to account for people’s lives?
“They can replace this building but they cannot rebuild lives, families, and children. You cannot replace them.”