The Grenfell Tower Inquiry is an independent public inquiry, set up to examine the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017.
As the public Inquiry into the fire got underway this week, opening statements have been made and five reports, written by independent experts, have also been published. The reports reveal a catalogue of failures and covers how the fire spread and unfolded.
It appears that there was a “culture of non-compliance” at the tower which contained more combustible material than previously thought. The fire safety experts revealed their findings as they delivered their damning evidence.
Experts stated there were a number of serious fire safety breaches including failure of a fire-fighting lift, 100 fire doors which were non-compliant, a “stay put” policy that failed the Tower’s residents. Flammable parts of window frames resulted in the spread of the fire to external building cladding within 15 minutes of the first 999 call which came from a householder whose fridge freezer had apparently caught fire.
The inquiry has also heard of the challenges faced by the fire brigade as risers intended to channel water to the upper floors of the building (where most people died) had failed to work properly and that the lobby smoke extraction system had also failed and did not meet building regulation requirements. The firefighters were subjected to “thick black smoke” and unable to access the lobbies.
On 3 June, The Inquiry announced that it has instructed Beryl Menzies, Menzies Partners, as an expert witness. Beryl will be producing a report considering the application for building control approval in relation to the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower and whether the steps taken by all the relevant parties complied with the relevant legislation, regulations and guidance.
The next Inquiry hearing will be held on 18 June at 10 am.
Further information on the latest news can be found at www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk