1,000 PAGES OF DAMNATION

Scottish Daily Mail - - News -

Sir Mar­tin Moore-Bick’s re­port runs to 1,000 pages... here are its scathing con­clu­sions:

Cause of blaze

It started due to an elec­tri­cal fault in a fridge­freezer in flat 16 on the fourth floor. Flat owner Be­hailu Kebede will be ab­solved of any blame.

More than 200 sur­vivors and be­reaved fam­i­lies are su­ing Whirlpool, which sup­plied the Hot­point model in the flat.

Brigade train­ing

The Lon­don Fire Brigade’s prepa­ra­tion and plan­ning for such a fire was ‘gravely in­ad­e­quate’. Ex­pe­ri­enced in­ci­dent com­man­ders had ‘no train­ing’ on the dan­gers of com­bustible cladding or on how to evac­u­ate a high-rise block.

At the scene

Fire­fight­ers dis­played ‘ex­tra­or­di­nary brav­ery’ but in­ci­dent com­man­ders failed to recog­nise that a full evac­u­a­tion may have been nec­es­sary.

If the de­ci­sion to evac­u­ate had been made it would have ‘re­sulted in fewer fa­tal­i­ties’. Cru­cial i nfor­ma­tion was not shared by se­nior of­fi­cers.

Con­trol room

There were ‘short­com­ings in prac­tice, pol­icy and train­ing’.

Call han­dlers did not al­ways ob­tain the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion and were un­aware of when to tell res­i­dents to evac­u­ate.

Com­mis­sioner

The re­port crit­i­cises the Lon­don Fire Brigade’s com­mis­sioner for her ‘re­mark­able in­sen­si­tiv­ity’ af­ter she told a hear­ing in Sep­tem­ber 2018 she would change noth­ing about its re­sponse to the fire.

Inferno’s spread

The ‘prin­ci­ple rea­son’ that the flames spread so quickly up the tower block was due to the rain screen pan­els which ‘acted as a source of fuel’.

The in­su­la­tion boards be­hind the cladding pan­els also ac­cel­er­ated the fire’s spread. These fea­tures were added dur­ing a re­fur­bish­ment sev­eral months be­fore the fire.

Build­ing de­sign

The fail­ures of the build­ing’s safety de­sign were ‘rapid’. Many lob­bies filled with fire 26 min­utes af­ter it started.

But Sir Mar­tin MooreBick said stairs were ‘not ab­so­lutely im­pass­able’ over an hour into it.

Reg­u­la­tions

The tower’s ex­ter­nal walls failed to com­ply with build­ing reg­u­la­tions. There is ‘com­pelling ev­i­dence’ that the walls did not ‘ac­cu­rately re­sist the spread of fire’ but ‘ac­tively pro­moted it’.

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