Suggestion that UK fire victims lacked sense draws scorn

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APTOPIX Britain London Fire

A woman passes a construction wall with written messages near Grenfell Tower in London, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. A report released Wednesday on the deadly apartment block fire in London has condemned the London Fire Brigade and concluded that fewer people would have died if the building were evacuated more quickly. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

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 last week 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.