The Grenfell Tower blaze is more than a tragic fire. It hits at the very heart of the history of the British social system. The Grenfell Tower is a type of building known as "tower blocks," a type of housing that has a long history; sometimes gleaming with positive connotations but more often than not tainted with despair.

According to the English Housing Survey, one of every 200 homes in England is located in a high-rise block, or tower block; in London, 8 percent of the population lives in tower blocks. There are more than 700 high-rise tower blocks in London.


The concerns of the residents of Grenville Tower over fire safety did not include the insulation panels that were used to clad the building. The tower was clad with ACM cassette rainscreen panels. In other fires that broke out in tower blocks, no more than three or four flats were involved in the fire and, because of this, tower block tenants are advised to "stay put" in case of fire. However, in the case of Grenfell Tower, this advice proved fatal. The insulation panels were highly flammable. It seems pretty clear from the footage of the fire that it was able to spread throughout the building via these panels. The outside of the building was covered in flames. Those who lived on the top floor and decided to heed the advice to stay put, paid with their lives.

Although there was no fire alarm to alert the residents, many managed to escape due to young Muslim men who were passing by. These young men and boys were returning from the tarawih prayer, a late night prayer which is an integral part of Ramadan. They spotted the fire, and tried to wake up as many people as possible.