London fire service criticised in Grenfell Tower report: UK media

LONDON: The emergency response to a 2017 high-rise fire that killed 71 people in London had "serious shortcomings", British media said on Tuesday (Oct 29), quoting an official report into the tragedy.

The long-awaited assessment into the Grenfell Tower fire is due to be published on Wednesday and indicated fewer people would have died had London Fire Brigade been better prepared.

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The Jun 14, 2017 inferno at the 24-storey residential block in west London was Britain's deadliest domestic fire since World War II and prompted widespread outrage.

Several media organisations said the report says the fire service's readiness for such a blaze was "gravely inadequate" and that its response suffered from "systemic" failures.

It also accused LFB commissioner Dany Cotton of "remarkable insensitivity" after she told the inquiry she would not have done anything differently on the night.

"I identify a number of serious shortcomings in the response of the LFB, both in the operation of the control room and on the incident ground," wrote inquiry head Martin Moore-Bick.

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"It is right to recognise that those shortcomings were for the most part systemic in nature," he stated, according to the domestic Press Association news agency.

A public inquiry into the fire began in May 2018, led by retired High Court judge Moore-Bick, and is expected to take evidence in two phases.

READ: Survivors voice outrage at delay in London blaze probe

"COMPELLING EVIDENCE"

Findings from the first stage focused on assessing what happened on the night of the fire is summarised in the 1,000-page document, and includes a number of recommendations.

It reportedly confirms the blaze started through a faulty fridge in the kitchen of a fourth-floor flat and quickly engulfed the building due to flammable cladding installed on its facade as part of a refurbishment.

The report states the combustible aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding with polyethylene cores acted as a "source of fuel" and was the "principal reason" the flames spread at such speed.

Moore-Bick is said to have noted that he intended to determine whether Read More – Source