LONDON (AP) — With smoke still swirling around the charred remains of Grenfell Tower in west London, residents and community leaders demanded to know Wednesday how a ferocious fire could have swept through the high-rise apartment block with such speed that it killed at least 12 people.
The anger was particularly strong since activists had warned just seven months ago that fire safety procedures were so lax that only a catastrophic blaze would bring the scrutiny needed to make the building safe.
Fire and police officials have not specified what went wrong, but extensive video footage shows the flames climbing the exterior of the building at a remarkable pace.
“I’ve never seen a fire like that in my life,” said Joe Ruane, the former deputy chief fire officer for U.S. Air Force bases in Britain. “I’ve never seen that in a residential block.”
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