The Tower Next Door

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When the towers were built they had an expected lifespan of only 20 years. Now that 40 years have gone by, it’s obvious that they need a lot of maintenance done to them.  They need new lifts, the plumbing is faulty and sometimes there are issues with water flow. But just like with every other residence, one gets used to it because it’s the place you call home.

The view is spectacular. Although the buildings are old, they stand elegantly against the sky. One day Grenfell was a pleasant part of the view from other windows, the next day it was a tragic reminder of how unpredictable life is. The once classy building now stands like a vertical tomb.

The memories of the fire are still vivid in the minds of the people on the neighboring towers. One woman remembers the sound of the helicopters. A man describes the sight as seeing a box of matches with all the matches lit at the same time. Another man says that part of the problem was with the gas pipes that were placed through the staircase on the tower block.  Those who live in the surrounding blocks not only saw the tragedy, they also heard it, felt it, and smelled it. It was a sad multisensory experience.

Things like this shouldn’t be happening in 21st Century England.  The tower had been fine for 40 years, but the government decided it was time to do some maintenance and then the unthinkable happened.

Some believe it was a strategy to knock down the buildings because that would be cheaper than restoring them. Some believe it was a mere accident. Others don’t know what to believe.