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30 Oct, 2019 14:34

Grenfell Tower fire errors: Fewer people would have died if fire service's ‘stay-put’ strategy had been called off

Grenfell Tower fire errors: Fewer people would have died if fire service's ‘stay-put’ strategy had been called off

Calling off the fire service’s ‘stay-put’ strategy earlier could have saved lives in the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, the official inquiry into the tragedy has found. The initial report is critical of senior fire brigade officers.

The inquiry, headed by retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, has concluded that, once it was apparent that the fire was out of control, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) should have revoked its ‘stay-put’ policy. The report suggests this should have happened between 1:30am and 1:50am – less than an hour after the fire started.

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The release of the first part of the inquiry on Wednesday only deals with what happened on that fateful night in June 2017 that saw 72 people lose their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire in west London. The second part, which will focus on the building, will be published at a later date.

Although the report praises the firefighters who rushed to tackle the inferno and attempted to rescue residents, it also makes clear that commanders made serious errors, claiming they failed to think about the need for “mass evacuation.”

...the first incident commanders, although experienced, were of relatively junior rank...they neither truly seized control of the situation nor were able to change strategy.

Responding to the criticisms found in the report, LFB commissioner Dany Cotton insisted that she would not resign and claimed that “knowing what we know now, we have put steps in place to make changes.”

Steve White, the London Fire Brigade’s Union Organiser, told RT that his members agree with the report’s “criticisms of the systematic failures within the LFB,” but that the prime focus should be on those in power in local and central government.

White hit out at UK premier Boris Johnson, claiming that he had “questions to answer,” due to the fact that “when he was Mayor of London he oversaw personally the cuts to 10 London fire stations.”

“Prosecutions should be [against] the people that caused the building to be in such an unsafe condition in the first place,” White insisted.

Boris Johnson has responded by insisting that his government is committed to airing the facts of the tragic fire in public “no matter how difficult they may be.”

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