I didn’t want this to be just another pissed off post on the internet, I wanted to use it for something. So given that, below is a link to a petition I hope you’ll sign, it calls for a change in the laws surrounding fire safety measures in high rise buildings. Let’s not let something like this happen again.
I am horrified.
I have spent the last week and a half with my eyes glued to the news. And frankly, every day I am more disgusted. I’m not talking politics ( though that’s a shit show too) I’m talking the Grenfell Tower fire.
I am sickened. 79 people have lost their lives. 79 innocent people. But this was no terrorist attack, it was no war, it was an ‘oversight’. How can you call 79 people losing their lives an oversight?! No this is a fuck up of epic proportions.
The reason I have been glued to this, is because I fully understand the effects of fire. I lost a family member to a house fire 15 years ago. It was devastating to my entire family. That was an accident, yet everyone wanted to blame someone or blame themselves. I watched my own family blaming themselves for something they could not have controlled, and I have watched them grieve every single year after her death.
I cannot imagine the pain the survivors and the families of the dead must feel. The anger, that this could have been prevented and that there is someone to blame here. Someone made the decision to put that cladding on the building. Someone made the decision to save themselves some money by putting the cheaper, not fire retardant stuff up. Someone has to take responsibility for 79 deaths.
Earlier today I saw a report about a block in Camden, that has similar cladding to that of Grenfell, and that it was not what was commissioned. The contractors had just put a different product on there. Why? If they were paid for cladding that was fire resistant, and then a cheaper version has been put on there, where has the money gone? Is this how deep corruption runs within our country? That people’s lives are worth the money you saved?
There are 600 towers being tested. What happens if there’s another fire before they’re finished testing? Will there be more lives lost? Where is the money coming from to carry out these tests? From the NHS? From cut benefits or social care? From the contracting companies who were supposed to put the right stuff up in the first place?
And what about the fire service? They did an amazing job that day, and continue to do so. Having to go back into that tower block every day with the stench of smoke and death to bring put people’s loved ones. I choked up when I saw that firefighters attended the minutes silence on Monday, and that they had been seen crying and hugging survivors and apologising to family members for not being able to save everyone.
This is a problem. This is what makes me really disgusted. These men and women risked their own lives that day to attempt to save as many as they could, and yet, council members, MPs’, company owners and prime ministers are hiding in the shadows hoping the spotlight doesn’t fall on them!
These firefighters stood in front of angry, distraught families and apologised for not being able to save someone they loved, and for them to carry that burden is not okay.
Do we get any apology or admittance for cuts in the fire service? Nope. Are there any extra regulations in place so that it can make the job any easier? Nope. No sprinklers, no extra fire escapes. Not even the proper smoke alarms in place. This was a disaster waiting to happen.
And for those people who have survived, what do they get? 5 grand. A measly 5 grand to restart their life. Sorry, don’t know about you but it would take a shit ton more than 5 grand to furnish a home, buy new clothes for my family, and maybe take us for a pizza after cause our house fucking burned down. These arent exactly people who had masses of life savings or house insurance. And again I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d rather them stick a fiver on everyones tax next month and make sure these people get a decent pay out for what they’ve had to go through, or are they reserving that for when the enquiry finishes and the govt has to pay out even more in damages to the victims and survivors?
I know, there’s an enquiry being called. And yeah Mrs May has said everyone will be held accountable, but will anything really change? They’ll take the decorative cladding off the buildings, but will they enforce regulations that mean all tower blocks must have sprinkler systems installed? And at least 2 fire escape routes? And the proper fire alarm systems in place? Probably not.
The people who are accountable will make a public apology, pledge a little money, thank the fire service and nhs for doing their jobs and be on their way. They won’t serve any jail time. They won’t carry the weight of 79 dead souls on their back for the rest of their days. No, they’ll go back to sipping champagne on a yacht off the coast of Monaco.
So it is sickening, disgusting, outrageous. Why does it always take a tragedy to call for action? Why has it taken 79 people losing their lives to mean these people are listened to?
I know this is quite a rant-y post. But tragedies like this will continue to happen if we don’t change our laws and regulations. Please sign the petition if you haven’t already and help to change things for the better.