Government and councils were warned repeatedly about fire safety experts’ fears over tower blocks as far back as 1999

The residents of Grenfell Tower were alarmed to discover smoke pouring from their electrical appliances in May 2013. Laptops, televisions, washing machines and fridges were damaged by an unexplained series of power surges that prompted the frightened occupants of the 24-storey tower in west London to descend on their estate office, demanding action and answers.

In an email to Robert Black, CEO of the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), which manages the 1970s social housing property on behalf of the local authority, one resident explained “we had numerous power surges in the space of a minute, and in that process my computer and monitor literally exploded, with smoke seeping out from the back”.

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