Police to probe fire brigade’s ‘stay put’ advice to Grenfell residents 

8 Jun 18

An investigation is to be launched into the response of fire services to the Grenfell Tower inferno in which 71 people died, the Metropolitan Police has confirmed.

The investigation will review the London Fire Brigade’s “stay put” policy advising Grenfell Tower residents to remain inside their homes on the night of the blaze.

The Fire Brigades Union defended the approach taken by fire fighters at the scene, suggesting they were dealing with an “unprecedented” situation.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “Our investigation will cover the advice given to residents by the London Fire Brigade on the night of the fire.”

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Grenfell fire fighters were dealing with an unprecedented situation that nobody had prepared for and that they should never have had to face.

“Every decision made during that time will come under scrutiny in the inquiry. We will not pre-judge.

“But this should not be allowed to divert attention from the real cause of the level of destruction which is that the fire-safety measures within the building were utterly inadequate and completely failed.

“A key factor in this is that the government and local council gave priority to saving money over protecting people.” 

In his opening statement at the Grenfell Tower inquiry on Thursday, FBU lawyer Martin Seaward said there is “huge concern” over the stay put strategy but added that “there remains no obvious and safe alternative strategy.”

Delivering the LFB’s opening statement, Stephen Walsh QC said: “It is a fundamental misunderstanding of the events of the fire and of fire service capabilities to assume that the building’s stay-put policy can be changed to simultaneous evacuation at the stroke of a fire incident.”

PF reported last week that Kensington and Chelsea had spent 25% of its reserves as a result of the tragedy.

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