From The Guardian: One of the last people to escape Grenfell Tower has claimed residents were bullied by the Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) during the refurbishment of the block which left gaps around windows that allowed his flat to fill with smoke.
Antonio Roncolato, who lived in flat 72 on the 10th floor for 27 years, was the first resident to give evidence to the public inquiry into the disaster, which claimed 72 lives. He described being trapped in the tower for more than six hours and said there was gaseous smoke, like “you’re going into a gas chamber”.
Roncolato, a hotel worker, told the inquiry that before the fire residents were unhappy about plans to relocate gas boilers in the building’s corridors and that some were bullied into accepting what they feared was a safety risk. He also said that as part of the same refurbishment the landlord removed a 24-hour concierge service in the tower because it would cost too much to continue.
He described how residents had meetings with the Tory-run council landlord but “the TMO was very resistant to coming to these and when they did, the meetings were often tense and residents would walk out”.
The TMO finally agreed to put some boilers in the flats, but “for those residents who did not speak up, they were bullied into having the new boiler installed in the hallway by the front door”.