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Grenfell Tower Inquiry: 'stay put policy failed'

FAILURES: Experts have highlighted a series of mistakes in the lead up and response to the fire

FOLLOWING A week of commemoration hearings, which gave survivors and those bereaved by the blaze a platform to air their grievances and pay tribute to their loved ones, the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire is now looking into the factors and failures that led to the tragedy.

Here is a summary of what the inquiry has covered so far this week. This article will be updated as the week goes on.

Smoke ventilation failure
The smoke ventilation system at Grenfell Tower failed days before the fire engulfed the residential building.

A system designed to remove smoke from the lobby areas did not comply with building regulations, Dr Barbara Lane, a fire engineer, said.

The “thick black smoke” that spread across the lobbies in the tower obstructed firefighter from using them as search bases or a bridgehead.

Stay put policy criticised
The fire brigade’s stay put policy, advice given to residents to remain in their homes, has been called into question.

In their opening statement to the inquiry today (Tuesday 5 June), the London Fire Brigade (LFB) said that it has “thus far found no evidence of any occasions when that balance was not struck in favour of the residents of Grenfell Tower”.

However, a report by Lane has said the policy failed by 1.26am. The LFB did not change their advice from stay put to evacuate until 2.47am.

Lane said “there was a total failing of the principles of stay put”.

’Come quick’ call to 999
A recording of the 999 call made by Bahailu Kebede, the resident who lived in the flat on the fourth floor where the fire began, was played at the inquiry yesterday.

In the call, which was made at 12.54am, Kebede can be heard saying: “I took .... phone, I just ran out, ‘99’ I call straight away.

“Please, fire, fire, fire, fire, fire,” he said.

A video filmed on his mobile phone was shown after the call. In the footage the fire can be seen growing in size.

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