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Grenfell Tower Inquiry Report

(105 Posts)
Grandad1943 Wed 30-Oct-19 14:56:59

The first phase Grenfell Tower inquiry has heavily criticised the London fire service for its actions during the time the disaster was actually unfolding. There is no doubt that the London Fire Brigade's Commissioner Dany Cotton did seem to present her evidence to the Inquiry in a very factual and seemingly to many a very unsympathetic manner.

However, I believe that those who read the report fully can understand why the decision to tell the residents who contacted the service from within their flats on that terrible night were advised to remain there. That instruction in the eyes of the report sealed the fate of many, but on the night of the disaster, determinations had to be made quickly and decisively and based on how a fire in such a building should behave.

In that, risk assessments and previous experience of high rise residential building fire have always concluded that those in residence are at least risk by remaining within there homes, but in this circumstance that advice turned out to be catastrophically wrong.

Why the fire spread in the way that it did is still to be fully investigated in the second phase of the inquiry. However, it has been concluded in the present report that polyecladding-cored panels and aluminium fixings were at the heart of the disaster and the base of why the fire spread so rapidly and unexpectedly in the way it did.

Many have stated they feel the inquiry should have made the properties of the cladding, it's fixings and the tests that were carried out in regard to its safety for use on such buildings the first and primary aspect of the investigation. It is also being asserted that the in-depth investigation and release of such findings are, in terms of time, imperative as there are many similar residential buildings which still have such compounds of cladding fixed on them.

While the above remains under investigation those that were caught up in this disaster and those who perished on that night can receive no justice, and those who are responsible for bringing about this tragedy cannot be brought to justice.

With all else that is taking place in the news at present perhaps with the release of this report we can take just a minute to think on all who lost their lives that night and on those who still mourn in its aftermath.

Anniebach Wed 30-Oct-19 15:20:44

I hope the government will not take money from the people who survived to pay towards the costs of removal of the tower.

Ilovecheese Wed 30-Oct-19 15:32:52

I saw an interview this morning with one of the Grenfell Residents, who seemed to think that some of the criticism of the upper levels of the fire service was fair enough.
But I agree with those who
To quote from the OP:
"feel the inquiry should have made the properties of the cladding, it's fixings and the tests that were carried out in regard to its safety for use on such buildings the first and primary aspect of the investigation. It is also being asserted that the in-depth investigation and release of such findings are, in terms of time, imperative as there are many similar residential buildings which still have such compounds of cladding fixed on them."

Investigating the role of the fire service in the first stage of the enquiry does smack of going for the softest target first.
After all, if the building had been properly fire proofed in the first place the fire service would not have been put in the position of making a decision about whether or not to advise residents to stay put or not.

EllanVannin Wed 30-Oct-19 16:06:41

I'm blowed if I'd been told to stay put that I'd have taken any notice. This " order " stuck in my mind when I first heard it.

Granniesunite Wed 30-Oct-19 16:10:13

The fire service didn't start the fire and while I'm very sympathetic toward the families who lost loved ones I'm so hurt at our fireman and woman being scapegoated in this way. On a daily bases our emergency service personal tread a very difficult path to keep us, Joe public safe, yet somehow when things go wrong they get hammered. How did this fire start? Materials used? Ect. God help us. This report will have have a devastating effect on these brave man and woman. I wouldn't won't to go into a burning building after this report.

Davidhs Wed 30-Oct-19 17:42:29

The materials used was the cause of the terrible death toll, that cladding would never have been used on a new building. Because it was an external refurbishment project building regulations did not have to be complied with, of course the council that owned the building wanted to do the job a cheaply.
Blaming the fire brigade is a way of diverting attention from the real culprits.

Anniebach Wed 30-Oct-19 17:49:49

The fire brigade have not been blamed for the fire, the firemen at the scene have not been blamed for anything ,

jura2 Wed 30-Oct-19 17:57:09

Davidhs - you are so right. This is exactly what it is, and disgustingly horrific at that and so shameful. The real culprits are all Tories, be they politicians, large building firms and financiers involved - and they are being protected- whilst the blame is deflected.

How anyone cannot, or will not, see right through this is beyond me. In the meantime- many surviving victims still live in terrible conditions- and London and the country still have 100s, 1000s of buildings where exactly the same could happen at any time.

Anniebach Wed 30-Oct-19 18:19:42

How wrong to bring politics into this awful disaster,

This was only the first part of the enquiry dealing with what happened on the night.

Some surviving victims have criticised the fire brigade, sre they all Tory voters ?

jura2 Wed 30-Oct-19 18:29:45

Oh Annie - this is not the point. And yes, tragically, it is all about politics- and very calculating.

Do you perhaps remember Boris telling the enquiring commission into cuts to fire services being drastically cut- tell the questionner to 'go away'.

Anniebach Wed 30-Oct-19 18:32:39

jura there is so much more to come .

Doodle Wed 30-Oct-19 18:33:11

jura you are wrong on so many fronts. annie is right this is not about politics.

Daisymae Wed 30-Oct-19 18:40:58

Very difficult to tell people under these impossible circumstances to do something different from established procedures. They would have been blamed if many had become trapped in the stairwell. Hindsight is wonderful and knowing what we know now many more people may have been saved. There's blame somewhere but I find it difficult to lay it at the door of fire services.

Anniebach Wed 30-Oct-19 18:46:01

And if such an awful tragedy were to happen again ?

MissAdventure Wed 30-Oct-19 18:54:15

Almost every building I've worked in has had instructions to stay put in the event of a fire.

I would find it almost impossible to go against that.

Its all so sad for everyone involved.

pinkquartz Wed 30-Oct-19 19:03:18

I feel too that the inquiry should be aimed at the cladding and of the COUNCIL that bought it.

I think it is wrong to blame the fire service. They had not I believe been called to do a fire review of that building.
Maybe I am wrong but at the time of the fire I thought i read that they had not been called to review

absthame Wed 30-Oct-19 19:29:47

The stage one was a farce. It was obvious that the standard response was not an appropriate one, but only given hind sight.

To have changed the response that had been established over years of experience, based upon the emotion of that moment could have led to even more fatalities. As it is experience of that night justifies a change in the standard response in certain cases, what cases and when needs experts to determine, not judges, the bereaved, the press or politicians.

This stage one is masking the real crimes, undertaken by politicians who weakened building regs and others that ignored those regs that remained. They should be prosecuted and persecuted for those actions.

Anniebach Wed 30-Oct-19 19:36:10

I want the enquiry to find the truth and justice carried out, I speak as someone who witnessed a disaster and there was no justice, I don’t want the survivors of this disaster to experience anger of justice not carried out for the rest of their lives .

Cover ups can happen regardless of the politics of the government.

Grandad1943 Wed 30-Oct-19 19:42:13

I feel on a day when the release of this report has demonstrated that despite the United Kingdom still having a Health & Safety Commission and Executive Tragedies much as Grenfell Tower can still come about.

Legislation in regard to dynamic risk assessments which are activated in emergency situations has been changed in recent years placing emphasis for the compiling of these away from building owners and onto the emergency services. In the case of Grenfell Tower, it was clearly demonstrated that no functional dynamic risk assessment could be brought into operation, which is where the inquiry report concluded that systemic failure had occurred within the London Fire Brigade on that night.

Examples of the above could be seen in such situations as the fire services ladder vehicles arriving at the fire scene to find that the barrier that allowed large vehicles to access the site was locked and no one had knowledge of where the keys were kept.

The first firemen on the scene found that the main pedestrian entrance to the building was protected by a keypad lock of which fire service personal had no knowledge of the access code. They were eventually able to gain access to the building by way of someone who was escaping from the fire opening the door.

Anyone can only imagine how those who survived the tragedy and those that lost loved ones must have felt as the true scope of the failures on that night have been placed into the public domain.

The London fire services advised the inquiry that they do not have the resources to carry out comprehensive dynamic risk assessment on all publicly occupied buildings in their area. However, I feel that responsibility and blame should not be apportioned when only the first stage of the inquiry has been reported on.

As I stated in my opening post, I feel that this is a time that all should reflect on the failures of that night and all that has surrounded this tragedy, and in that take a minute to think on those that still mourn loved ones and others caught up in this disaster and are still awaiting justice.

jura2 Wed 30-Oct-19 19:58:04

One very eloquent survivor of Grenfell explained this so well on Channel 4 News right now. Saying this tragedy is not about politics is nonsense.

And yes, this with the families still grieving without any answers- and those who live in similar conditions and go to sleep with such fear.

Anniebach Wed 30-Oct-19 20:02:48

It is not about politics, it is about a horrific disaster and the search for the truth.

Some want to bring politics into it, even saying all concerned are Tories.

Davidhs Wed 30-Oct-19 20:35:23

It certainly was the Tories that reduced the resources of public services including the fire service while increasing their responsibility.

grapefruitpip Wed 30-Oct-19 20:53:35

Well said, David.

Grandad1943 Wed 30-Oct-19 21:11:02

I have worked in industrial and workplace safety for more than thirty-five years and in that I have acted under the directive of the 1974 Health & Safety at Work Act (HSAWA). That act over the years has been responsible for achieving an eighty-six percent reduction in workplace and associated accidents, a figure that all who work in safety have been proud to be associated with.

We were shaken over the years by such disasters Hillsborough and Ladbroke grove but responsibility for those accidents has always been placed on persons who did not carry out their working duties as they were required under legislation to do.

However, with Grenfell Tower, I believe that for the first time since the introduction of HSAWA we have witnessed a failure in the procedures that supports the above act. The Grenfell Tower report called that a systemic failure and in that it should be above all politics. Let Justice run its course in terms of those that did not work within the legislation.

However, where there is a failure in the system providing safe conditions for all going about their everyday lives, let all who legislate come together to address those terrible issues.

The HSAWA was introduced into legislation with the support of all parties in the House of Commons. Surely, what happened at Grenfell Tower should once again be above party politics and command the cooperation of all in ensuring that where there is found systemic failure on the conclusion of the inquiry that it is addressed so as to ensure that no one will ever again suffer such grief and loss through system failure.

lemongrove Wed 30-Oct-19 21:18:52

I despair of certain posters on GN!
Blaming ‘all Tories’ or even the Tory council is ridiculous, similar fires have taken place in high rise Labour run council places, in and out of London, so do stop the politics game!
In any case, millions had just been spent on refurbishing Grenfell Towers.The type of cladding used is widespread in the UK and is slowly being taken off many buildings.
The London Fire Service has been found to be badly wanting, in their advice to residents for hours and hours, and if that is the finding, then so be it.They have all the evidence, more than anyone else.
A former resident said on the radio today that he alerted all the neighbours on the 13 th floor, and many left the building,
Some declined saying that the advice was to stay in their flats, but then decided after an hour to leave.Others left the building, then went back to their flats, and others stayed in their flats all the time.The man thought that just about everybody could have left if they had wanted to, there was time, but the LFS advice was to stay.He said he felt it was just common sense to leave if you could do so.How right he was.