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Firefighters Condemn "Complete Failure" Of UK Fire Safety System

Responding to the 15th November terrible student accommodation fire in Bolton, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) called for a complete overhaul of UK fire safety and condemned cuts to fire and rescue services.

Pic: Bolton FireMatt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:

“My congratulations go to the crews on the ground who did amazing work in incredibly difficult circumstances. This terrible fire highlights the complete failure of the UK’s fire safety system. 

It’s deeply troubling to see fire spread rapidly up a building’s exterior again - a shocking indictment of the government’s shameful inaction after Grenfell. This is not how any building should react to a fire in the 21st century, let alone a building in which people live.”

He identified the true cause of such fires, as being Government policies over the last 15 years:
 
"We need to end the deregulation agenda and the disastrous cuts to our fire and rescue service. It's time for a complete overhaul of UK fire safety before it’s too late.”

Les Skarratts, FBU North West executive council member, pointed out that current plans to cut even more Fire services will be the prelude to even more incidents such as that in Bolton this month:

“Firefighters on the ground have worked tirelessly to contain the fire and rescue residents. There will clearly be some hard lessons to learn as the circumstances become clearer in the coming days.

Greater Manchester has lost more than 600 firefighters since 2010 alone and, alarmingly, Andy Burnham is trying to cut another six fire engines, including one in Bolton.”

In conclusion, he said:

"We need to stop the senseless cuts to our fire and rescue service before we see another awful incident like this.”

Many witnesses say they thought the building had the same cladding as that of the Grenfell Tower building, but, the Fire Brigade has confirmed the building did have cladding but not the same type on the doomed tower block where 72 people died in 2017.

Mr Burnham told Sky News:

"It does not have the ACM cladding which is now banned, but it does have a type of cladding which does cause concern. There will be many people living in buildings with this cladding today who will be very worried."

The Fire Brigades Union has now called for a complete overhaul of UK fire safety after the flames spread "extremely rapidly" through the building.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:

"This terrible fire highlights the complete failure of the UK's fire safety system.

It's deeply troubling to see fire spread rapidly up a building's exterior again - a shocking indictment of the government's shameful inaction after Grenfell. This is not how any building should react to a fire in the 21st century, let alone a building in which people live.

"We need to end the deregulation agenda and the disastrous cuts to our fire and rescue service. It's time for a complete overhaul of UK fire safety before it's too late."

Source: Manchester Evening News / FBU / ASP / AP


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