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Grenfell Inquiry Fire First Phase Report

Today saw the first of a several phase reports into the Grenfell Fire published by the official inquiry into the tragedy.

The report consist of 4 volumes and also has a summary report in to the findings of the inquiry into the fire and what went wrong with regard to the rescue of residents of the tower block which led to the largest death toll from a fire in a residential tower block in this country.

Whilst the report makes for painful reading and seems from the outset to blame the London Fire Brigade for failings and mst importantly for the 'Stay Put' advice to residents and process of rescue, this phase 1 report also highlights the individual bravery of the fire fighters at the scene of a fire no one thought possible.

The reality is that there are a number of factors which led to the inevitability of this fire, pre-warned by one of its residents who had raised numerous safety issues in the building, and was ignored by the management committee for the building. The main issues being that of the use of sub-standard cladding on the outside of the whole building, the use of tests which did not adequately reflect the true temperatures at which the cladding would be exposed to in any fire in a BUILDING constructed as they are currently.

Secondly, the changes to regulations brought in by the Regulatory Reform Act in 2004 which removed the responsibility for fire safety from the local authority to that of the owners and builders of the property; and allowed for self regulation which ultimately left the fire brigade with no ways of ensuring adequate fire protection and suppression in the design of the building and more importantly of the materials used in its construction.

The privatisation of the London Fire Brigade and of the fire fighting equipment and vehicles, also added to the risks and the inadequacy of the rescue and fire suppression on the night of the fire.

As is too often the case, warnings by Trade Unions, in this case the Fire Brigades Union regarding the inadequacy of the legislation, the 'Stay Put' advice and process, and of their lack right to inspect and provide a fire certificate for the building that was independent of the owners, builders, and management committee of the building.

Further warnings from residents were ignored and even those making such claims of concern for the fire safety of the building, were threatened with legal action by Kensington management committee, and called trouble makers.

This website has previously reported in detail on these allegations - see Two Safety Campaigners Threatened With Legal Action Dead In Grenfell Tower Inferno

The executive report can be downloaded from the E-Library here as can all four volumes of the first phase report into the Grenfell Tower fire published today 30th October.

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