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Suggestion that UK fire victims lacked sense draws scorn

LONDON (AP) — A group representing bereaved families of a London apartment block fire that killed 72 people is outraged over comments by a senior member of Britain’s government suggesting the victims lacked common sense for following fire department advice to wait for help.

Grenfell United criticized House of Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg’s comments as “beyond disrespectful.” Rees-Mogg has apologized.

The group, named after the tower bock that caught fire in June 2017, says Rees-Mogg’s comments are “extremely painful and insulting to bereaved families.”

A report concluded that fewer people would have died had building been evacuated more quickly.

Inquiry chairman Martin Moore-Bick sharply criticized a fire department policy that led to residents being told to stay in their apartments rather than flee.

Associated Press