A witness to the devastating Grenfell Tower fire has rejected claims the deadly blaze was sparked by a fridge, believing it “wasn’t just an accident”.
Peaky Saku witnessed the blaze as he returned home late on Tuesday night and has since made a series of unsubstantiated claims that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea wanted the dated complex cleared so they could gentrify the area.
“I was riding back, maybe at like 2am, and I saw like one line of fire. It looked like it was contained at the time, but by the time I got here, the top bit was on fire, and then within an hour most of the building was on fire,” he told BBC News.
“This thing they’re saying about it being a fridge that exploded, I don’t know about that, but what I do know is that they did regeneration to that building for £10 million ($16.8 million AUD).
“They put these shoddy plastic things on it, that set alight because they want more reasons to knock these blocks down.
“There’s two options, they can either regenerate the blocks or knock them down…so I’m not sure that was totally an accident.”
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Grenfell Tower is located in Kensington and Chelsea, statistically the richest neighbourhood in the country, but with the most pronounced wealth disparities.
On Thursday, debris continued to fall from the 24-floor tower's dark skeleton as the acrid smell of burnt plastic wafted in the wind after a fire in which at least 17 people lost their lives.
Behind the security cordon at the foot of the tower, a moving show of solidarity has emerged, mixing with resentment of local residents who feel hard done by in what is Britain's richest neighbourhood.
Londoners from across the city have already donated so many crates of clothes, water and food that the local authorities have called for no further help.
"People feel helpless, they do not know what to do, so they give," said Sonia, an Algerian woman who was helping a friend look for missing family members.