The public enquiry has now started to hear expert evidence. The conclusion from the first day seemed to be that the “Stay Put” advice given to the residents was wrong.
The whole situation was unprecedented. There is no other example of a 20 storey tower being consumed by fire in 20 minutes. My understanding is that the firemen put the fire out in the one where it started. However, unbeknown to them the fire had spread round the back of the building and engulfed it within minutes.
With the benefit of hindsight, it seems clear that an order to evacuate the building should have been given at least an hour earlier than it was.
The hearing is is now getting hugely technical and legal. We now have all sorts of technical information that was not available at the time. The fire brigade did not have tall ladders or access to water so they could use their hoses properly.
The deeper, structural issues should not be forgotten.
I expressed the view in a previous post that I would be very surprised if a large number of individuals from the council, the TMO and the companies who carried out the work are held individually responsibly. There may only be corporate responsibility.
Hopefully the judge is going to tell us who is legally responsible. The police will prosecute anyone who has broken the law. It may be that London Fire Brigade has to take some corporate responsibility and be held accountable. The one outcome that I don’t want to see is the individual firefighters, who were personally very brave on the night (and are in some cases still as traumatised as the survivors) having to take responsibility.