Kensington’s newly-elected Labour MP has said a huge fire which destroyed a tower block in her west London constituency leaving at least 12 people dead has “devastated our community”.
Emma Dent Coad said she had visited several support centres set up for those affected by the blaze at the 27-storey Grenfell Tower and would continue to do so throughout the day.
Flames tore up the building in North Kensington, leaving people trapped on upper floors, with some holding babies from windows and others jumping from their flats.
Speaking on Wednesday (June 14) she said: “The terrible events of last night and this morning have devastated our community.
"Our thoughts are with the family and friends who have experienced such tragic loss.
“We have already seen our community coming together in the face of this tragedy.
“Local people have been streaming into support centres with clothes, food and other supplies to help those affected.
“It is at times like these that we see the very best of our community, coming together in the face of such adversity.”
Ms Dent Coad praised the emergency services who she said had “worked incredibly hard throughout the night, tackling the fire and tending to those injured”.
She added she would be working with the council to ensure accommodation was provided for all those unable to return to their homes.
She said: “The priority now is to ensure that the emergency services have every resource they need, from ensuring medicines are reaching those who need them, to providing appropriate care and support for the elderly, those with disabilities and families with young children.”
Ms Dent Coad, who is a councillor in the Golborne ward and a member of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said she had raised concerns with the authority about fire safety at tower blocks in the area .
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.”There have been a lot of concerns over the past few years on various fire issues.
“I have brought it up quite a few times. The blocks are of a certain age.
“Some of them have been refurbished, some haven’t, and we have an ageing population.”
In April she described the fire on the 27th floor of nearby Trellick Tower, which was confined to a few properties, as “disaster averted”.
Speaking to getwestlondon following the Trellick Tower incident, she had said: “It could have been a hell of a lot worse.”
Ms Dent Coad saw off Tory incumbent Lady Victoria Borwick, overturning the former city deputy mayor’s 7,000 majority from 2015 by just 20 votes in a large swing to the opposition.
We've set up a JustGiving page in aid of those affected.
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/grenfell-tower-support .
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