1,000 PAGES OF DAMNATION
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.