Tahlka News Bureau
LONDON: A refrigerator in the fourth-floor may have caused the explosion at the Grenfell Tower in London's North Kensigton on Wednesday.
A resident of the fourth floor was informed by his neighbor that his fridge has exploded, causing a fire in his apartment said, Safiyah Wallden. "I heard a man telling another about the explosion reported by his neighbor. When the incident happened, they didn't have a clue the fire would engulf the whole building," Wallden, an entrepreneur who lived in another property of Kensigton and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation that owns Grenfell Tower.
Wallden first saw just a small section of the right flank of the building was on fire, around 1:15 am on Wednesday after which the whole building was engulfed with fire. She rushed towards the building, screaming to wake up neighbors so that they could alert friends and family residing in the building. The building had been refurbished for £1.03 million.
The inflammable exterior cladding of the building may have fueled the fire and led to its spread.
When she reached the building, she heard residents say they did not hear the fire alarm on the floors. It that is true, many did not get a warning and may have been asphyxiated in their sleep. Also, there were no sprinklers in the tightly packed 24-storied highrise that contained 120 flats. The presence of only one stairwell further slowed the evacuation process.
Wallden said heard voices of little girls pleading for help and men screaming. "I don't think those who lived beyond the 11th floor got a chance to escape. With no air rescue, the fate of other residents may have been sealed."
Wallden said the casualty figured will be high as she did not see many residents among those gathered around the building. "Usually, when there is a fire in a building and was surprised to see there weren't that many residents.Nor were many receiving treatment in the ambulance. I think many of the 500-600 people who have lived in Grenfell Tower are dead."