In 2007, regulations stipulated that all new towers over 30 meters, or nearly 100 feet, should have sprinklers, but the rules did not apply to older buildings like Grenfell Tower, built in the 1970s.
In May, a government-commissioned investigator said that Britain’s building safety systems were a lax and confused mess in need of a major overhaul and much tougher enforcement. But her 159-page report was criticized for not making specific recommendations, not even to ban the sort of cladding used at Grenfell or to require sprinklers and multiple fire stairs in high-rise buildings.
A separate report to the public inquiry also said the London Fire Brigade’s advice to residents to “stay put” in their apartments — a standard policy for fires in high-rises — had failed. “There was an early need for a total evacuation of Grenfell Tower,” it said.
Still, the Grenfell tragedy has galvanized civic action and strengthened community spirit in Kensington, where about $36 million was raised privately for survivors and relatives of those who died in the Grenfell tragedy, according to official figures.
At Al Manaar mosque in North Kensington, Ms. Mahmud was cooking in the kitchen, which she has used every day because the hotel room she is staying in does not have one. Her daily cooking helped her earn a food hygiene certificate and she now dreams of opening her own restaurant.
“I didn’t realize until now that cooking was therapy,” she said, ladling out boxes of lamb curry and pilau rice as congregants started arriving for the breaking of the fast during one of the last nights of Ramadan.
Her husband minded their two children. His son, Mohammed, sometimes stares out the window, he said, saying how he misses his friends and his “auntie.”
“I try to explain to him that these people are in a better place, in a place of peace,” Mr. Rasoul said. “To try to cushion, you know, the pain of separation.”