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Grenfell activist says it was 'obvious' tower should have been evacuated

The bereaved families of the Grenfell Tower disaster have slammed senior fire chiefs for failing to learn the lessons from the tragic blaze and have been called for them to be prosecuted.

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The scathing inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster today condemned fire chiefs slavish refusal to evacuate the burning building as it was revealed 55 of the 72 people who died in the fire were told to remain in their flats.

London Fire Chief Dany Cotton was heavily criticized by the official report into the tragedy including the 'remarkable insensitivity' in the evidence to the public inquiry in September last year where she insisted she would not change anything we did on the night.

Campaign group Grenfell United said Cotton and other bosses had failed to learn the lessons from the blaze and called them on 'stop hiding behind the bravery or their frontline firefighters'.

The campaign group's chairman Natasha Elcock praised the 'strong and fair' report and said: 'You can't say nothing you would change when all of these lives were lost'.

Shah Aghlani, whose mother Sakina Afrasehabi and aunt Fatima Afrasehabi died in the horror, hit back today: "For a fire chief to say they wouldn't change anything, they shouldn't be anywhere near commanding a fire service."

The group also described the report as 'heartbreaking' and said some relatives of the deceased because senior staff prosecuted.

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Today's report into what caused the fire in Grenfell Tower was published this morning and described the 'lost' 47 minutes where the London Fire Brigade refused to drop its policy preventing people from being evacuated.

Inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick also listed 46 recommendations and a further 42 mistakes made by the London Fire Brigade to help avoid a similar tragedy because of the extraordinary failings that contributed to the fire on June 14 2017.

The Grenfell Tower fire in North Kensington, West London, in June 2017 left 72 people dead and the report marking the end first phase of the public inquiry is out today

London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton (left today) is retiring at the age of 50 with a £ 2m board pot

London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton (left today) is retiring at the age of 50 with a £ 2m board pot

Sir Martin Moore-Bick, chairman of the Grenfell public inquiry at the High Court in London,

Sir Martin Moore-Bick, chairman of the Grenfell public inquiry at the High Court in London,

London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton (left today) is retiring at the age of 50 with a £ 2m board pot – she has been heavily criticized by the inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick (right) who called her 'insensitive' and questioned her lack of curiosity on arriving at the inferno

Survivors and family members of people involved in the Grenfell fire, (L-R) Shemsu Kedir, Elalami Namdan, Flora Neda, Paulos Tekle, Hamid Al Jafari, Nazanin Aghlani and Shah Aghlani address the media
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Survivors and family members of people involved in the Grenfell fire, (L-R) Shemsu Kedir, Elalami Namdan, Flora Neda, Paulos Tekle, Hamid Al Jafari, Nazanin Aghlani and Shah Aghlani address the media

Families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire speak during a news conference in London today and said they believed that London Fire Brigade could have saved all 72 people who perished in the blaze. Pictured left to right. Hamdan El Alami, who lost his daughter, son in law and their children, Flora Neda, whose husband Saber died in the fire. Paulos Tekle, whose son Isaac Paulos died, Hamid Al Jafari, Nazanin Aghlani and Shah Aghlani, who lost their mother and finally Nabil Choucaire lost six relatives including his mother, sister and brother in law.

A team of exhausted firefighters rest at the scene of the blaze in North Kensington in June 2017 - bosses have been accused or throwing them under the bus

A team of exhausted firefighters rest at the scene of the blaze in North Kensington in June 2017 - bosses have been accused or throwing them under the bus

A team of exhausted firefighters rest at the scene of the blaze in North Kensington in June 2017 – bosses have been accused or throwing them under the bus

Sir Martin has also concluded Grenfell's recently installed cladding and insulation was illegal – paving the way for corporate manslaughter prosecutions – saying it was the 'principal' reason for the fire's rapid and 'profoundly shocking' spread up to the top floor in just 30 minutes.

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55 of the 72 people who died in the West Kensington fire had been told to 'stay put' in their flats inside the 14-storey block before the evacuation was finally ordered at 2.47am – almost two hours after the first 999 call came at 12.54 am

Sir Martin said: 'That decision could and should have been made between 1.30am and 1.50am and would be likely to have suffered in fewer fatalities. I have little doubt that fewer people would have died if the order to evacuate had been given by 2.00am. The time between 2.00am and 2.47am was effectively lost '.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick's scathing conclusions on 1,000 pages

Sir Martin Moore-Bick, chairman of the Grenfell public inquiry,

Sir Martin Moore-Bick, chairman of the Grenfell public inquiry,

Sir Martin Moore-Bick, chairman of the Grenfell public inquiry,

Cause or blaze

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It started due to an electrical fault in a fridge-freezer in apartment 16 on the fourth floor. Flat owner Behailu Kebede will be absolved or any blame.

More than 200 survivors and bereaved families are suing Whirlpool, which supplied the Hotpoint model in the flat.

Brigade training

The London Fire Brigade's preparation and planning for such a fire was 'gravely inadequate'. Experienced incident commanders had 'no training' on the dangers of combustible cladding or on how to evacuate a high-rise block.

At the scene

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Firefighters displayed 'extraordinary bravery' but incident commanders failed to recognize that a full evacuation may have been necessary.

If the decision to evacuate had been made, it would have been 'reduced in fewer fatalities'.

Crucial information was not shared by senior officers.

Control room

There were 'shortcomings in practice, policy and training'.

Call handlers did not always obtain the necessary information and were unaware of when to tell residents to evacuate.

Commissioner

The report criticizes the London Fire Brigade's commissioner for 'remarkable insensitivity' after she told a hearing in September 2018 she would not change anything about her response to the fire.

Inferno's spread

The 'principle reason' that the flames spread so quickly up the tower block was due to the rain screen panels which 'acted as a source of fuel'.

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The insulation boards behind the cladding panels also accelerated the fire's spread. These features were added several months before the fire during a refurbishment.

Building design

The failures of the building's safety design were 'rapid'. Many lobbies filled with fire 26 minutes after it started.

But Sir Martin Moore-Bick said stairs were 'not absolutely impassable' about an hour into it.

Regulations

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The tower's external walls failed to comply with building regulations. There is 'compelling evidence' the walls did not 'accurately resist the spread of fire' but 'actively promoted it'.

Sid-Ali Atmani, who escaped from the 15th floor, said today: "Those in command had the opportunity to save everyone in that tower – we're talking about two hours."

Flora Neda and her son were the only survivors from the top floor after ignoring the stay-put order and fleeing down the stairs to safety. Describing their descent through the smoke and flame she said at a press conference in Westminster today: 'We didn't see anyone until the 4th floor. That's the first time we saw a firefighter. We told them there's more people upstairs, they said they would go up. But they didn't '.

Nazanin Aghlani, who lost two family members in the blaze, called for his top brass to be prosecuted and said: 'I think it's quite obvious that the whole LFB is in the hands of people that are incapable of their jobs. They should be discharged or it. They should be prosecuted. I'm not saying individual firemen, they do a hard job – the senior leaders at the top '.

As the damning report on one of the worst fires in British history was released, it emerged:

  • Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick demands root-and-branch changes in 46 recommendations he says are needed to prevent another Grenfell-type disaster;
  • Combustible cladding turned the 14-storey-block into a 'death trap', but thousands of people are still living in buildings fitted with the panels;
  • London Fire Chief Dany Cotton was heavily criticized by the official report into the tragedy including the 'remarkable insensitivity' in the evidence to the public inquiry in September last year where she insisted she would not change anything we did on the night. She refused to resign today;
  • Firefighters battling the blaze were praised – but decision by bosses who refused to evacuate the burning tower for more than an hour cost lives;
  • Home appliance firm Whirlpool faces a potential multi-million pound lawsuit after the Grenfell report found a faulty fridge freezer sparked the inferno after Sir Martin dismissed their 'fanciful' claim fire was caused by a cigarette;
  • Boris Johnson says Grenfell families were failed before and after the fire – and promised them justice would be done.
  • Tory MPs have been criticized for jeering Jeremy Corbyn about his green tie, which is a sign of respect to those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire;
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This afternoon Speaker John Bercow led MPs in a minute's silence at the start of the debate on the Grenfell Tower inquiry in the Commons before Boris Johnson addressed relatives in the public gallery saying survivors and the bereaved were 'overlooked and ignored' before the fire and "shamefully failed in the days and weeks after it."

He said: 'No report can make up for the trauma they have suffered – but I hope the findings published today will bring some measure of comfort to those who have suffered so much'.

He added: 'No report, no words, no apology will ever make good the loss suffered and the trauma experienced. But I hope that findings are published today and the debate we are holding this afternoon will bring some measure of comfort to those who suffered so much.

He added: 'They asked for the truth, we promised them the truth, we owe them the truth. And today the whole country, the whole world, is finally hearing the truth about what happened at Grenfell Tower on June 14 2017 '.

Grenfell families react to the bombshell report

Grieving relatives of the Grenfell inferno today branded the public inquiry a 'cover up' and called for the prosecution of senior London Fire Brigade officials.

Around a box hero a press conference today to react to the end of phase one of the inquiry into the worst fire in Britain for a generation.

This is what they said:

Hamdan El Alami, the father of Farah Hamdan, 31, who died in Grenfell Tower with her daughters, Malak, 8, and Leena, aged six months, and her husband Omar Belkadi, 32, sobbed

Hamdan El Alami, the father of Farah Hamdan, 31, who died in Grenfell Tower with her daughters, Malak, 8, and Leena, aged six months, and her husband Omar Belkadi, 32, sobbed

Hamdan El Alami, the father of Farah Hamdan, 31, who died in Grenfell Tower with her daughters, Malak, 8, and Leena, aged six months, and her husband Omar Belkadi, 32, sobbed

Hamdan El Alami survived the inferno along with his five-year-old grandchild. The 70-year-old lost his daughter, the husband and two grandchildren including an eight-year-old and a six-month old baby who was found in his daughter's arms.

He broke down in tears as he pointed to a photo of his daughter and asked 'why?'. He said: "This is my family. I came here to fight for our families. Please, please support us. '

Paulos Tekle, whose son Isaac Paulos died in the Grenfell Tower fire, is seen next to a photograph of his child

Paulos Tekle, whose son Isaac Paulos died in the Grenfell Tower fire, is seen next to a photograph of his child

Paulos Tekle, whose son Isaac Paulos died in the Grenfell Tower fire, is seen next to a photograph of his child

Paulos Tekle, who lost his son Isaac Paulos, five, in the fire: 'I have been let down by the firefighters on many occasions. A firefighter came to our door, advised us to stay put. He told us 'you are safe' and we trusted the authorities.

'My friend on the other side was advising us to leave but we believed the firefighters who came to us by and told us to stay.

'Every single minute now, I think of that. I was desperate at that time.

'If we were helped properly, my son would be here today and I would not be telling this story. I am living with a picture. Because of our firefighters, we lost our son.

'There were over 200 firefighters on the night. Why didn't they rescue him? "

Flora Neda, whose husband Saber died in the fire

Flora Neda, whose husband Saber died in the fire

Flora Neda, whose husband Saber died in the fire

Disabled Flora Neda was carried down 23 flights of stairs by her 24-year-old son. The husband Saber Neda died staying behind to help his neighbors who took refuge in their flat.

She said: 'We wanted to leave the flat and we locked the flat. When we got to the staircase, suddenly we saw more than 30 people came up the stairs. They said there was a major fire was downstairs and that one of the firefighters had told them to go upstairs because a helicopter was there.

'I have lived in the tower for 20 years and I know every side of the building. I told them there is no way out from the roof to get to the helicopter.

"We used the staircase from the top floor until we reached the ground floor. None of the firefighters were on the floor to help us"

Nabil Choucaire lost six relatives including his mother, sister and brother in law

Nabil Choucaire lost six relatives including his mother, sister and brother in law

Nabil Choucaire lost six relatives including his mother, sister and brother in law

Nabil Choucaire who lost six members of his family – his mother, his sister and her husband, plus three nieces.

Mr. Choucaire, who was not a Grenfell resident, said: “This inquiry is one of the biggest and worst cover ups. They have controlled us from what was said in the pen portraits.

'After losing a family or a loved one, our lives are never going to be the same. We hear Dany Cotton say she would not have done anything differently: do you not learn from what happened? Do you still accept what has happened? Don't you understand what happened?

"If you don't change it, we will have another Grenfell. You (LFB) should have implemented a rescue mission a lot earlier, we could see this.

'If we could see this, why could firefighters and their commanders not see it? Why did they not see it? Why did they not react? Where was common sense?

'We asked for the report to be put behind because we did not want to put it behind an election and Brexit.

"They are trying to hide and cover up what is going on and this is not acceptable."

Nazanin Aghlani, who lost her mother in the Grenfell Tower fire, was seen during a press conference

Nazanin Aghlani, who lost her mother in the Grenfell Tower fire, was seen during a press conference

Nazanin Aghlani, who lost her mother in the Grenfell Tower fire, was seen during a press conference

Nazanin Aghlani attended the conference to support the brother whose mother and aunt died in the fire.

The 32-year-old said: 'People's lives are in the hands of people who are not capable of the job.

"They should be discharged or it. If a fire went off in my home, I wouldn't call them because they are not capable.

'They should be scrutinized all the time because they are responsible for a lot of lives and they don't care much. If I got used to work and I didn't do my job properly and somebody died, I would be prosecuted. They should be prosecuted. That's when we will get justice. "

Shah Aghlani loses his mother and aunt in the blaze after firefighters sent them up the tower instead of down

Shah Aghlani loses his mother and aunt in the blaze after firefighters sent them up the tower instead of down

Shah Aghlani loses his mother and aunt in the blaze after firefighters sent them up the tower instead of down

Shah Aghlani loses his mother and aunt who died on the 23rd floor of the tower block after they were told by firefighters to go upstairs into the 1,000 degree inferno.

He said: 'The LFB has to accept criticism and change. They should accept responsibility for failure and address the shortcomings or their response.

'Firefighters' failure to withdraw the stay put policy caused loss of lives.

"The report found escape was always possible. Evacuation was possible – they just gave up too early.

Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn said Grenfell was an 'avoidable tragedy' before insisting there is 'genuine love and affection' between the community and the firefighters who risked their lives to help.

He told the Commons: "I know nobody is trying to do this today, let's not blame firefighters for their work – they did everything they could and more and well beyond that."

Mr Corbyn also said: 'I think the Grenfell survivors are the heroes of all this.

'Because when you go through a tragedy there is a natural human instinct to try and put it behind you, move away, go off and do something else if you've got that opportunity and choice.

"They haven't done that – they've stayed there, stayed in that community, kept that community together in order that the rest of us might learn the lessons of the pain they went through."

Mr Corbyn also stressed the 'whole truth is not yet with us', with phase two of the report still to come.

Survivors who fled the burning tower and those who lost loved-ones in the sausage fire in Britain for a generation praised the report and its criticism of the London Fire Brigade, whose boss Dany Cotton was singled out for criticism after she insisted she would not change anything we did on the night.

Today the LFB Commissioner, who is retiring next April aged 50 on a £ 140,000-a-year pension, said she was 'disappointed' with elements of the report including the naming of senior colleagues on duty that night.

Asked if she would quit, she told the BBC: "No, I won't. I will retire in six months 'time because my commitment is to making those changes, and if I resign I can't do that.'

She was then asked three times if she would do things differently before admitting she would.

Campaign group Grenfell United said Cotton and other bosses had failed to learn the lessons from the blaze and called them on 'stop hiding behind the bravery or their frontline firefighters'.

Its chairman Natasha Elcock praised the 'strong and fair' report and said: 'You can't say nothing you would change when all of these lives were lost'.

Shah Aghlani, whose mother Sakina Afrasehabi and aunt Fatima Afrasehabi died in the horror, hit back today: "For a fire chief to say they wouldn't change anything, they shouldn't be anywhere near commanding a fire service."

Nabil Choucair, who lost six family members in the fire, said: 'We saw how you (firefighters) failed and should have put the fire out, but knowing that you could tackle a fire that was bigger than you could imagine .. You should have implemented a rescue plan a lot earlier. If we could see this and experienced fire commanders could not see this … why could they not see it? Why did they not react? Where was the common sense? "

In his eviscerating report, Sir Martin Moore-Bick said the fire service's planning for a high-rise fire was "gravely inadequate" and ignored lessons from the Lakanal House blaze or 2009 where five died in similar circumstances.

He said: "It had failed to learn the lessons of the Lakanal House fire. But at the same time I find that, following the refurbishment, the external walls of the building did not comply with the Building Regulations because they did not adequately resist the spread of fire over them. On the contrary, they promoted it. "

Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have welcomed a damning report that said London Fire Brigade (LFB) breached national guidelines through 'gravely inadequate' preparation.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick said the absence of a plan to evacuate the tower was a major omission by the LFB and more lives could have been saved had the 'stay-put' policy been abandoned sooner.

Nobody has been prosecuted in the wake of the fire and with phase 2 of the technical aspects of the building expected to be completed in 2022, police are expected to wait until then to swoop, disappointing survivors and grieving relatives of dead demanding justice.

Justice 4 Grenfell said some of the recommendations could have been made earlier, and that they feared those most accountable may be 'off the hook'.

The evidence from the first phase of the inquiry 'strongly suggested' that 'stay-put' was an 'article of faith within the LFB so powerful that to depart from it was to all intents and purposes unthinkable', he said.

The Grenfell Tower cladding did not comply with building regulations and was the principal reason for the fire's rapid and profoundly shocking spread, the inquiry report said.

Once the fire had tasks to hold or the building's exterior, it was 'inevitable' that it would find its way inside, Sir Martin said.

However, because there was no attempt to carry out a managed evacuation of the tower, this is less significant than the lack of training to help incident commanders recognize when this might be necessary, he said.

Hisam Choucair, who lost six relatives, said: 'I welcome the report, it's long awaited. It's the truth, for the findings in phase one, it's a step in the right direction.

"It's opened up a serious amount of questions for organizations, government to answer – and to tell the truth with regards to what happened, and for things to change."

Shah Aghlani, whose mother Sakina Afrasehabi and aunt Fatima Afrasehabi died in the fire, said 'cultural change' was needed within the London Fire Brigade (LFB).

He said 'I think today everyone who has been in charge of the LFB should examine their role' and act to bring about the 'change that's so badly needed'.

Rukayet Mamudu, 71, escaped from the building in the dressing gown carrying the adopted 12-year-old son Tyrshondre.

She told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire program: 'I think the report was very thorough and we appreciate what Moore-Bick has done, and he has given us a room for hope to move forward, to be able to face phase two.

'Because he has done, I must say, a thorough job, and we appreciate it. Thank you very much.'

Mahad Egal, who escaped from the fourth floor, said: 'This is the beginning of the truth. It took the necessary time that it needed to, but the results, the right results we've been hoping for.

'Most important, it's very important to all of us – grieving survivors and residents and the community – that our neighbor from Flat 16 has been exonerated from any sort of blame. That itself is an absolute relief.

'We are very pleased with the judge in terms of the thorough inspection which he carried out with the inquiry team. This is a Pandora's Box now, so we look forward to phase two. '

London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton has been criticized in the report.

She said: 'We will now carefully and fully consider all of Sir Martin Moore-Bick's Phase 1 report and take every action we can to improve public safety.

'Many of the recommendations are welcome and will need to be fully understood not only by London Fire Brigade, but by Government, every fire and rescue service and every residential building owner and manager across the country.

'The report is focused on our response and it is right for our actions to be fully examined by the inquiry.

'We welcome the chairman's recognition of the courage, commitment and bravery of firefighters on the night.

'But we are disappointed with some of the criticism of individual staff members who were placed in completely unprecedented circumstances and faced with the most unimaginable conditions while trying to save the lives of others.

"On the evacuation of Grenfell Tower we note the chairman states he has received no expert evidence to guide him on reaching his conclusion and that a qualitative judgment on the brigade's approach might be better reserved for Phase 2."

Hamdan El Alami survived the inferno along with his five-year-old grandchild. The 70-year-old lost his daughter, her husband and two grandchildren including an eight-year-old and a six-month old baby who was found in his daughter's arms

Hamdan El Alami survived the inferno along with his five-year-old grandchild. The 70-year-old lost his daughter, her husband and two grandchildren including an eight-year-old and a six-month old baby who was found in his daughter's arms

Hamdan El Alami survived the inferno along with his five-year-old grandchild. The 70-year-old lost his daughter, her husband and two grandchildren including an eight-year-old and a six-month old baby who was found in his daughter's arms

Flora Neda and her son were the only survivors from the top floor but said firefighters refused to go above the fourth floor - her husband Saber died

Flora Neda and her son were the only survivors from the top floor but said firefighters refused to go above the fourth floor - her husband Saber died

Flora Neda and her son were the only survivors from the top floor but said firefighters refused to go above the fourth floor – her husband Saber died

Nazanin Aghlani, who lost the mother in fire, called for an overhaul of the senior leadership of the LFB, and called for its top brass to be prosecuted

Nazanin Aghlani, who lost the mother in fire, called for an overhaul of the senior leadership of the LFB, and called for its top brass to be prosecuted

Nazanin Aghlani, who lost the mother in fire, called for an overhaul of the senior leadership of the LFB, and called for its top brass to be prosecuted

Relatives of victims of the Grenfell Tower fire pose with pictures during a news conference in London this afternoon

Relatives of victims of the Grenfell Tower fire pose with pictures during a news conference in London this afternoon

Relatives of victims of the Grenfell Tower fire pose with pictures during a news conference in London this afternoon

Pictures of Grenfell's dead, including many children, surrounded the landmark report that demands changes to how high-rise fires are fought

Pictures of Grenfell's dead, including many children, surrounded the landmark report that demands changes to how high-rise fires are fought

Pictures of Grenfell's dead, including many children, surrounded the landmark report that demands changes to how high-rise fires are fought

Ms Cotton said many recommendations were welcome and would be considered carefully and fully by senior officers.

Grenfell's cladding was illegal and was 'principal reason' tower was engulfed in 30 minutes

Grenfell Tower in West London burns hours after the blaze swept through it in June 2017 - its cladding sped up the fire and helped it spread upwards

Grenfell Tower in West London burns hours after the blaze swept through it in June 2017 - its cladding sped up the fire and helped it spread upwards

Grenfell Tower in West London burns hours after the blaze swept through it in June 2017 – its cladding sped up the fire and helped it spread upwards

The use of combustible materials in the refurbishment of London's Grenfell Tower was central to the catastrophic chain of events in June 2017, the official inquiry said.

The blaze at Grenfell Tower, a 23-storey social housing block owned by one of London's richest local authorities, shocked Britain and threw up a range of disturbing questions about how the building had been allowed to become a tinderbox.

"In its origin, the fire at Grenfell Tower was no more than a typical kitchen fire," wrote Martin Moore-Bick, chairman of a public inquiry into the disaster, in a report on the first phase of investigations which focused on events on the night of the blaze.

Having broken out late at night in a fourth-floor flat because of an electrical fault in a refrigerator, the fire spread to the outside of the building and raced up its facade, which had been fitted with a type of combustible aluminum composite material cladding during a refurbishment completed in 2016.

Within 17 minutes of the first call to emergency services by the tenant of the fourth-floor flat, the fire had reached the 22nd floor, and six minutes after that it had reached the roof. From there, it engulfed the whole tower, reducing it to a charred gelding by morning.

Moore-Bick said there was compelling evidence that the external walls did not comply with building regulations because of the cladding and insulation material fitted between it and the original concrete wall.

'They did not adequately resist the spread of fire having regard to the height, use and position of the building. On the contrary, they are actively promoted, "he wrote.

She has resisted multiple calls for her to resign, and said the brigade was 'fully cooperating' with the police.

Asked about accusations she was "criminally negligent," Ms. Cotton told Sky News: "I think it's right that the police are the ones who will look into that."

She added that she regrets causing offense to those directly affected by the fire about the comments during the inquiry that she would change nothing about the team's response on the night.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said there was 'no way of knowing if evacuation could have saved more lives' and it could have led to further fatalities.

He said: 'We strongly refute the report's assertion that it would have been possible or safe to evacuate more than 150 people via a narrow, smoke-logged stairwell with just 30 firefighters. There is no evidence to suggest that this was possible. "

The added that the order in which the inquiry has investigated issues has been 'entirely wrong' and it was prioritizing scrutiny or firefighters about 'the critical issues of public safety'.

Nobody has been charged with any offenses since the inferno in June 2017 – despite Grenfell being encased in flammable cladding that acted like a giant firelighter when the blaze started because of a faulty fridge in a fourth floor flat.

But today's report only marks the end of phase one of the probe – with phase two set to take another two years from January 2020 and detectives unlikely to charge those responsible until it finishes.

Damningly, the report says lessons had not been learned from the Lakanal House fire of 2009. Three women and three children died in that high-rise blaze in Camberwell, South London which bore many similar traits and where victims were also told to stay put.

Karim Mussilhy, vice-chairman Grenfell United, who lost his uncle in the blaze, told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme: 'We welcome it. It's strong, it's long awaited.

'Sir Martin Moore-Bick has been very quiet throughout the inquiry, listening and hearing to everything, and this was his opportunity to come out strong and really set the tone for phase two and to restore some confidence back – not only in us, survivors and bereaved, but also the community and the rest of the country to a certain extent.

'So we welcome this report and we think its findings are very strong. For me, what stands out the most is the building was illegal.

'As of 2016, after the refurbishment was done, that building should not have been lived in. It was a death trap.

'All of the people that were involved in the refurbishment and the management of that building will have to answer some serious questions.

'Someone somewhere broke the law, and phase two will be about who broke the law. And hopefully this will bring some accountability.'

A graphic showing the people who died on the various floors of Grenfell Tower, most of whom were told not to leave their flats

A graphic showing the people who died on the various floors of Grenfell Tower, most of whom were told not to leave their flats

A graphic showing the people who died on the various floors of Grenfell Tower, most of whom were told not to leave their flats

Grenfell judge dismisses 'fanciful' claim by Hotpoint owner that a cigarette could have started the fatal blaze

The judge leading the Grenfell Tower inquiry has dismissed a 'fanciful' claim by a corporation that the fire could have been sparked by a discarded lit cigarette.

The owner of Hotpoint, which produces the fridge-freezer where the Grenfell Tower fire originated, previously suggested it could have been started by an 'alternative source of ignition' falling into the kitchen through an open window.

But the report today confirmed that the blaze was started by a fridge freezer as it dismissed the claims by Whirlpool.

Hotpoint produces the fridge-freezer where the Grenfell fire began

Hotpoint produces the fridge-freezer where the Grenfell fire began

Hotpoint produces the fridge-freezer where the Grenfell fire began

Rajiv Menon, who represents the occupant of the fourth-floor flat where the fire began, said at the time that Whirlpool Corporation's claim was 'desperate' and 'pure speculation'.

In his report, inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said the explanation was not convincing or consistent with the evidence heard in the first phase.

He wrote: 'Whirlpool's suggestion that the fire could have originated from a burning cigarette end thrown from a window higher up the building falling into the kitchen of Flat 16 and igniting unknown materials on the floor next to the large fridge-freezer is fanciful.'

Sir Martin said he had 'no doubt' that the fire was started by an electrical fault in the fridge-freezer, but that he had been unable to establish its precise nature.

But he said fires originating in electrical domestic appliances were not uncommon and the important question was 'how an ordinary domestic fire could have had such catastrophic consequences for the whole building and its occupants'.

He continued: 'What really matters is that the design of the refurbishment, the choice of materials and the manner of construction allowed an ordinary kitchen fire to escape into the cladding with disastrous consequences.

'How this state of affairs came about is for investigation in Phase 2, but at this stage I accept the evidence of all three experts that, if a fire started near a window, there was a disproportionately high chance of its spreading into the cladding, given the configuration and materials of the windows and of exterior cladding.'

The report, which was leaked yesterday, found that systemic failures by the LFB increased the number of deaths because it told residents to 'stay put' in flats for almost two hours after the first 999 call.

Miss Cotton was lambasted in the report for 'remarkable insensitivity' in her evidence to the public inquiry in September last year.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick, a retired judge who chaired the inquiry, said her attitude meant the brigade was at risk of failing to learn the lessons from Grenfell. He also highlighted her apparent lack of curiosity on arriving at the inferno at around 3am on June 14, 2017.

She was told the notorious 'stay-put' advice had just been abandoned, but asked no follow-up questions. Miss Cotton, whose annual pay package is worth £234,000, provoked anger when she told the inquiry she 'would not change anything we did on the night'. The 50-year-old fire chief is retiring in April on a full pension estimated to be worth up to £2million after 32 years of service. She will have served as commissioner for three years and three months – six years fewer than her predecessor, Ron Dobson, who continued until he was 57.

Miss Cotton, who became the fire brigade's first female commissioner in 2017, has previously compared the sight of flames ripping through the tower block to a 'disaster movie'. She said the fire was 'the most difficult thing' she had dealt with in her career, saying that she has suffered memory loss and received counselling.

In her testimony, she also claimed no training could have prepared the fire crews, saying: 'I wouldn't develop a training package for a space shuttle to land in front of the Shard.'

Sir Martin's report describes the lack of training at the fire services as an 'institutional' failure. He concludes: 'Quite apart from its remarkable insensitivity to the families of the deceased and to those who escaped, the commissioner's evidence that she would not change anything about the response of the LFB, even with hindsight, serves to demonstrate that the LFB is an institution at risk of not learning the lessons of the fire.'

He also says Miss Cotton's evidence 'betrayed an unwillingness to confront the fact that by 2017 the LFB knew (even if she personally did not) that there was a more than negligible risk of a serious fire in a high-rise building with a cladding system'.

Miss Cotton joined the brigade aged 18 as one of 30 female London firefighters.

Fire officers in London were briefed on the dangers of blazes within cladding less than a year before the Grenfell Tower inferno, the inquiry report revealed today.

Some 59 senior officers are thought to have attended the presentation in July 2016, 11 months before the blaze which killed 72 people in West London in June 2017.

A copy of the London Fire Brigade's Tall Building Facades presentation revealed as part of the inquiry shows how fire can rapidly spread through a high-rise block.

The Powerpoint presentation says flames 'spread up over or through the cladding' and can 'extend over 2m (6ft) above window opening regardless of cladding'.

What is the five-year Grenfell Tower inquiry and why is it in two parts?

What was part one of the inquiry?

Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick wanted to find out the cause of the fire of June 14 2017 'as quickly as possible' and how the fire was tackled to protect other residents of high-rise blocks on Britain. He wanted the work completed by April 2018 but it has now been completed 18 months later.

What is part two?

This phase will focus on the technical aspects of the building, how it was refurbished and why its make-up accelerated the fire rather than slowed it.

It will start in January 2020 and will take up to two years to complete.

Businesses, architects and council chiefs will be in the firing line.

Harley Facades Ltd, which supplied the cladding panels, was the company behind the controversial refurbishment of the doomed Grenfell Tower in North Kensington.

Reynobond PE cladding was also used on Grenfell – which the Government said previouslu is illegal, although experts challenged this.

Even Reynobond's manufacturer, Arconic, warns it is 'crucial' that Reynobond PE should not be fitted on tall buildings above 10 metres (32ft).

In the early stages of the refurbishment, a non-plastic type of panel named Proteus was proposed. But in the end, cheaper plastic ones named Reynobond PE were used.

Documents show Proteus panels, sold by KME Architectural Solutions, were initially specified for the Grenfell project by architects Studio E. Proteus panels are made with a non-flammable metallic honeycomb core.

Sir Martin will focus on the decisions that led to the highly combustible cladding being installed on the 24-storey tower block.

He will investigate the design of the cladding and choice of materials, the testing and certification of the materials, and the role of central and local government in promoting fire safety.

Other questions include whether fire doors complied with regulations, if the design of the windows during the refurbishment made it possible for fire to spread to the cladding, and whether lifts were properly maintained.

Other diagrams show the flames can spread through cavities in tower blocks and technical guidance over the use of combustible cladding materials on buildings.

The presentation also points to previous major fires in cities such as Baku, Shanghai and Dubai – as well as some in the UK including Garnock Court in Glasgow in 1999.

The presentation also includes references to estimating how flames spread across cladding or insulation and various diagrams and photographs showing tests.

Today's damning report by Sir Martin Moore-Bick found there 'appears to have been a failure properly to understand the risk of cladding fires in high-rise buildings'.

It said this was 'despite the fact that by 2017 many buildings of a similar kind in other countries had suffered fires in cladding, some of which had been well publicised'.

The report adds that some senior officers in the LFB 'had become aware of the risk, as appears from the Tall Building Facades presentation'.

The 935-page report into events on the night wass published today.

Sir Martin makes 46 recommendations following a two-year investigation. He says the 'principal reason' why the flames shot up the 24-storey high rise was the combustible aluminium cladding used in the refurbishment.

The report also concludes the fire started as the result of an 'electrical fault in a large fridge-freezer' in a fourth floor flat.

Part two of the inquiry examining the circumstances and causes of the disaster begins in January. An LFB spokesman said it would be 'inappropriate' to comment on the findings ahead of its official release.

Firefighters claimed yesterday that they are being made scapegoats after an official report into the Grenfell disaster condemned the actions of the London Fire Brigade.

They said that those who raced up the burning tower 'merely did their best to save lives' and that the 'real culprits are yet to be held to account'.

And a fire union chief said the inquiry was 'back to front' because firefighters were being criticised ahead of those responsible for wrapping the building in flammable cladding.

The first part of the report into the tragedy concluded that systemic failures by the LFB caused a greater number of deaths.

It found that the slavish adherence to the controversial 'stay put' policy by fire chiefs prevented residents from escaping.

But firefighters said that the policy was introduced by the Government and accused ministers of evading criticism.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigade Union, said: 'The issues behind the Grenfell Tower fire go back 30 years or more and they lie at the heart of central government.

'My frustration with this is that individual firefighters, including senior firefighters, are being subjected to a degree of scrutiny which Government ministers are avoiding.'

The 72 confirmed victims who died in the Grenfell Tower fire. (top row left to right) Mohammad Alhajali, Ya-Haddy Sisi Saye, also known as Khadija Saye, Anthony Disson, Khadija Khalloufi, Mary Mendy, Isaac Paulos, Sheila, Gloria Trevisan, Marco Gottardi, (second row left to right) Berkti Haftom, Ali Jafari, Majorie Vital, Yahya Hashim, Hamid Kani, Jessica Urbano Ramirez, Zainab Deen, Nura Jemal, Jeremiah Deen, (third row left to right) Yasin El-Wahabi, Firdaws Hashim, Hasim Kedir, Deborah Lamprell, Ernie Vital, Sakineh Afrasehabi, Denis Murphy, Raymond Bernard, Biruk Haftom, (fouth row left to right) Yaqub Hashim, Mehdi El-Wahabi, Ligaya Moore, Nur Huda El-Wahabi, Victoria King, Mohamed Amied Neda, Maria del Pilar Burton, Hesham Rahman, Gary Maunders, (fifth row left to right) Alexandra Atala, Vincent Chiejina, Steve Power, Rania Ibrahim, Fethia Hassan, Hania Hassan, Fathia Ali Ahmed Elsanosi, Abufars Ibrahim (silhouette), Isra Ibrahim (silhouette), (sixth row left to right) Mariem Elgwahry, Eslah Elgwahry (silhouette), Mohamednur Tuccu, Amal Ahmedin, Amaya Tuccu-Ahmedin, Amna Mahmud Idris, Abdeslam Sebbar (silhouette) , Joseph Daniels (silhouette), Logan Gomes, (seventh row left to right) Omar Belkadi, Farah Hamdan, Malak Belkadi (silhouette), Leena Belkadi (silhouette), Abdulaziz El-Wahabi, Faouzia El-Wahabi, Fetemeh Afrasiabi, Kamru Miah, Rabeya Begum, (eighth row left to right) Mohammed Hamid, Mohammed Hanif, Husna Begum, Bassem Choukair, Nadia Choukair, Mierna Choukair, Fatima Choukair, Zainab Choukair and Sirria Choukair.

The 72 confirmed victims who died in the Grenfell Tower fire. (top row left to right) Mohammad Alhajali, Ya-Haddy Sisi Saye, also known as Khadija Saye, Anthony Disson, Khadija Khalloufi, Mary Mendy, Isaac Paulos, Sheila, Gloria Trevisan, Marco Gottardi, (second row left to right) Berkti Haftom, Ali Jafari, Majorie Vital, Yahya Hashim, Hamid Kani, Jessica Urbano Ramirez, Zainab Deen, Nura Jemal, Jeremiah Deen, (third row left to right) Yasin El-Wahabi, Firdaws Hashim, Hasim Kedir, Deborah Lamprell, Ernie Vital, Sakineh Afrasehabi, Denis Murphy, Raymond Bernard, Biruk Haftom, (fouth row left to right) Yaqub Hashim, Mehdi El-Wahabi, Ligaya Moore, Nur Huda El-Wahabi, Victoria King, Mohamed Amied Neda, Maria del Pilar Burton, Hesham Rahman, Gary Maunders, (fifth row left to right) Alexandra Atala, Vincent Chiejina, Steve Power, Rania Ibrahim, Fethia Hassan, Hania Hassan, Fathia Ali Ahmed Elsanosi, Abufars Ibrahim (silhouette), Isra Ibrahim (silhouette), (sixth row left to right) Mariem Elgwahry, Eslah Elgwahry (silhouette), Mohamednur Tuccu, Amal Ahmedin, Amaya Tuccu-Ahmedin, Amna Mahmud Idris, Abdeslam Sebbar (silhouette) , Joseph Daniels (silhouette), Logan Gomes, (seventh row left to right) Omar Belkadi, Farah Hamdan, Malak Belkadi (silhouette), Leena Belkadi (silhouette), Abdulaziz El-Wahabi, Faouzia El-Wahabi, Fetemeh Afrasiabi, Kamru Miah, Rabeya Begum, (eighth row left to right) Mohammed Hamid, Mohammed Hanif, Husna Begum, Bassem Choukair, Nadia Choukair, Mierna Choukair, Fatima Choukair, Zainab Choukair and Sirria Choukair.

The 72 confirmed victims who died in the Grenfell Tower fire. (top row left to right) Mohammad Alhajali, Ya-Haddy Sisi Saye, also known as Khadija Saye, Anthony Disson, Khadija Khalloufi, Mary Mendy, Isaac Paulos, Sheila, Gloria Trevisan, Marco Gottardi, (second row left to right) Berkti Haftom, Ali Jafari, Majorie Vital, Yahya Hashim, Hamid Kani, Jessica Urbano Ramirez, Zainab Deen, Nura Jemal, Jeremiah Deen, (third row left to right) Yasin El-Wahabi, Firdaws Hashim, Hasim Kedir, Deborah Lamprell, Ernie Vital, Sakineh Afrasehabi, Denis Murphy, Raymond Bernard, Biruk Haftom, (fouth row left to right) Yaqub Hashim, Mehdi El-Wahabi, Ligaya Moore, Nur Huda El-Wahabi, Victoria King, Mohamed Amied Neda, Maria del Pilar Burton, Hesham Rahman, Gary Maunders, (fifth row left to right) Alexandra Atala, Vincent Chiejina, Steve Power, Rania Ibrahim, Fethia Hassan, Hania Hassan, Fathia Ali Ahmed Elsanosi, Abufars Ibrahim (silhouette), Isra Ibrahim (silhouette), (sixth row left to right) Mariem Elgwahry, Eslah Elgwahry (silhouette), Mohamednur Tuccu, Amal Ahmedin, Amaya Tuccu-Ahmedin, Amna Mahmud Idris, Abdeslam Sebbar (silhouette) , Joseph Daniels (silhouette), Logan Gomes, (seventh row left to right) Omar Belkadi, Farah Hamdan, Malak Belkadi (silhouette), Leena Belkadi (silhouette), Abdulaziz El-Wahabi, Faouzia El-Wahabi, Fetemeh Afrasiabi, Kamru Miah, Rabeya Begum, (eighth row left to right) Mohammed Hamid, Mohammed Hanif, Husna Begum, Bassem Choukair, Nadia Choukair, Mierna Choukair, Fatima Choukair, Zainab Choukair and Sirria Choukair.

Dawn breaks at Grenfell Tower today on a landmark day for the families of the dead and those who survived the fire

Dawn breaks at Grenfell Tower today on a landmark day for the families of the dead and those who survived the fire

Dawn breaks at Grenfell Tower today on a landmark day for the families of the dead and those who survived the fire

London Fire Brigade failed to learn from 2009 Lakanal House blaze that killed six and senior officers didn't understand risks of cladding despite training on the topic

The Lakanal House fire in 2009 in Camberwell killed six people

The Lakanal House fire in 2009 in Camberwell killed six people

The Lakanal House fire in 2009 in Camberwell killed six people

London Fire Brigade failed to learn from a fatal fire at a tower block in Camberwell eight years before the Grenfell Tower disaster, the inquiry has found.

The Lakanal House blaze in July 2009 killed six people and injured at least 20 more when flames ripped through the 14-storey block in South London.

But the report by chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick found the LFB 'failed to learn the lessons of the Lakanal House fire', such as the danger of assuming crews would always reach callers.

The report also claimed senior fire officers did not understand the risks of cladding despite being trained about the topic.

Flames ripped through the 14-storey block in South London in 2009

Flames ripped through the 14-storey block in South London in 2009

Flames ripped through the 14-storey block in South London in 2009

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton infamously told the inquiry that preparing for Grenfell would have been akin to preparing for landing a spaceship on the Shard.

But Sir Martin said this evidence 'only serves to demonstrate that the LFB is an institution at risk of not learning the lessons of the Grenfell Tower fire'.

In a pre-recorded video message, Sir Martin said: 'I consider that these represent significant systemic failings in the organisation or the LFB and show that it had failed to learn the lessons of the Lakanal House fire.

'But at the same time I find that, following the refurbishment, the external walls of the building did not comply with the Building Regulations because they did not adequately resist the spread of fire over them. On the contrary, they promoted it.'

Grenfell United said senior firefighters had failed to learn the lessons from the Lakanal House blaze and called on them to 'stop hiding behind the bravery of their frontline firefighters'.

The group said: 'While nothing can ever bring back our loved ones that passed away in the fire, this is a strong report with a forensic examination of the events of the night and clear recommendations that if implemented will save lives.

'The Government cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of Lakanal and ignore them. Justice means different things for all of us but the truth needs to be at the heart of our collective healing. We have been waiting a long time for this report.'

Deborah Coles, of charity Inquest which advises people on state-related deaths, said: 'The residents of Grenfell Tower were catastrophically failed before, during and after the fire.

'Key findings of this report are strikingly similar to those which followed the Lakanal House fire in 2009. Had previous recommendations been implemented, those in Grenfell Tower may have been safe.'

Local Labour MP Emma Dent Coad has said residents would be relieved that the report had found the building was non-compliant.

However she said there was nothing in it that would prevent such a tragedy happening again.

'We seem to have the worst fire safety regulations in western Europe as far as I can see,' she told a Westminster news conference.

'All we are doing is telling our firefighters to be better trained. We can't allow people to continue living in unsafe buildings until in about a year-and-a-half we get further recommendations.

'It is very frustrating. The management and maintenance of that building is pretty shocking.'

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said the 'finger of blame' for the Grenfell Tower fire should be pointed at Kensington and Chelsea Council and at the Government for its policy of 'light touch' regulation.

She said the priority now should be to remove cladding from similar buildings, with the Government taking responsibility to make sure it happened if landlords refused.

'I believe the finger of blame points to Kensington and Chelsea Council and the Government,' she told a Westminster news conference.

'The cladding was the real problem. The people who need to be held responsible are the people who commissioned that cladding, the people who signed off on that cladding and the people who failed to regulate the construction of that building properly.'

She added: 'The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea should be ashamed of their long-standing neglect of this part of the borough.'

Deborah Coles, of charity Inquest which advises people on state-related deaths, said: 'The residents of Grenfell Tower were catastrophically failed before, during and after the fire.

'Key findings of this report are strikingly similar to those which followed the Lakanal House fire in 2009. Had previous recommendations been implemented, those in Grenfell Tower may have been safe.

'This fire was predictable and preventable. A national oversight mechanism is urgently needed, to ensure official recommendations from inquiries and inquests are systematically followed up.

'The lasting legacy of Grenfell must be structural change. This requires meaningful action from the inquiry and government, to ensure those affected are not failed once again.'

Appliance firm Whirlpool faces a multi-million pound legal fight after the Grenfell report found a faulty fridge-freezer sparked the inferno.

Investigators were unable to establish the exact nature of the electrical failure in the Hotpoint machine, supplied by the US manufacturer, but the report said Behailu Kebede, who lived in the fourth-floor flat where the blaze started, was not to blame.

The 'relatively modest' fire engulfed the building after burning through into the tower's combustible cladding.

More than 200 survivors and bereaved families are suing Whirlpool in what lawyers have called 'one of the largest product liability cases in history'. The action is also against cladding and insulation suppliers Arconic and Celotex. During the public inquiry, Whirlpool was accused of a 'desperate' attempt to dodge blame by suggesting the fire could have been caused by a cigarette.

Rajiv Menon QC, lawyer for Mr Kebede, called it a 'transparent attempt by a multinational corporation to try to avoid liability and minimise reputational damage and financial loss'.

The report's findings come after Whirlpool finally agreed to recall up to 800,000 potentially lethal tumble dryers in July. It had offered to modify at-risk machines – but the Daily Mail highlighted cases where fires started in dryers after they were fixed.

The 46 wide-ranging recommendations in Grenfell report including a complete overhaul of evacuation guidelines, fire door inspections and floor number signs

Inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick has identified 46 changes that should be made to ensure the safety of high-rise residents.

These touch on the ways the buildings are designed, constructed, approved and managed and how fire and rescue services respond.

When deciding on the recommendations, Sir Martin said he had particularly considered their capacity for 'making a significant contribution to the safety of those who live in high-rise buildings'.

Here are the key recommendations, plus the areas to be looked at in phase two.

Evacuation

  • the Government must develop national guidelines for carrying out partial or total evacuations of high-rise residential buildings, which include procedures for evacuating people who are unable to use the stairs in an emergency, or who may require assistance (eg disabled people, older people and young children)
  • fire and rescue services must develop policies and training for partial and total evacuation of high-rise residential buildings
  • all current and future high-rise residential buildings must be equipped with sounders or similar devices enabling fire services to send an evacuation signal to the whole or a selected part of the building
  • all fire and rescue services must be equipped with smoke hoods for evacuation through smoke-filled exit routes

The owner and manager of every high-rise residential building must:

  • draw up and regularly review evacuation plans, provide copies in electronic and paper form to their local fire service and place in an information box on the premises
  • prepare personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) for all residents whose ability to self-evacuate may be compromised and keep these in the information box
  • the owner and manager of every residential building containing separate dwellings must provide fire safety and evacuation instructions in a form that the occupants of the building can reasonably be expected to understand

Emergency calls

  • The LFB's policies must be amended to draw a clearer distinction between callers seeking advice and callers who believe they are trapped and need rescuing
  • all fire and rescue services must develop policies for handling a large number of fire survival guidance (FSG) calls simultaneously
  • electronic systems must be developed to record FSG information in the control room and display it simultaneously in units at the fire
  • policies must be developed for managing a transition from 'stay put' to 'get out'
  • control room staff must receive training on handling such a change of advice and conveying it effectively to callers

Fire doors:

  • the owner and manager of every residential building containing separate dwellings must carry out an urgent inspection of all fire doors
  • they must carry out checks no less than every three months to ensure that all fire doors are fitted with effective self-closing devices in working order
  • all those who have responsibility for the condition of the entrance doors to individual flats in high-rise residential buildings with unsafe cladding must ensure that they comply with current standards

Floor numbers:

  • floor numbers must be clearly marked on each landing within the stairways and prominently in all lobbies so they are visible both in normal conditions, low lighting and smoke

Plans and inspections:

The owner and manager of every high-rise residential building must:

  • provide their local fire service with information about the design and materials of its external walls and inform them of any material changes
  • provide their fire service with up-to-date paper and electronic floor plans, showing key fire safety systems
  • regularly inspect lifts intended to be used by firefighters in an emergency, test the mechanism which allows firefighters to take control of them and report the results to the fire service every month

All fire and rescue services must:

  • ensure that all officers of the rank of crew manager and above are trained and aware of the requirements expected during inspections of high-rise buildings
  • be equipped to receive and store electronic plans and to make them available to incident commanders and control room managers
  • ensure that all staff understand the risk of fire taking hold in the external walls and know how to recognise this

Communication:

  • all officers who may be expected to act as incident commanders must receive training on communication with the control room
  • all control room operators of assistant operations manager rank and above must receive training on communication with the incident commander
  • a dedicated communication link must be provided between the senior officer in the control room and the incident commander

Command and control:

  • the LFB must develop policies and training to ensure better control of deployments and the use of resources
  • the LFB must develop policies and training to ensure that better information is obtained from crews returning from deployments and that it can be made available immediately to the incident commander
  • the LFB must develop a communication system to enable direct communication between the control room and the incident commander and improve the means of communication between the incident commander and the bridgehead
  • the LFB must investigate the use of modern communication techniques to provide a direct line of communication between the control room and the bridgehead

Equipment:

  • the LFB must urgently take steps to obtain equipment that enables firefighters wearing helmets and breathing apparatus to communicate with the bridgehead effectively
  • the LFB must urgently take steps to ensure that the command support system is fully operative on all command units and that crews are trained in its use

Emergency services:

  • each emergency service must communicate the declaration of a major incident to each other as soon as possible
  • clear lines of communication must be established as soon as possible between the control rooms of the individual emergency services
  • steps must be taken to investigate the compatibility of the emergency services' systems with a view to enabling them to read each others' messages
  • Emergency services and local authorities must investigate ways of improving the collection of information about survivors and making it available more rapidly to those wishing to make contact with them

Sir Martin did not make recommendations in certain areas, instead saying they fall under the remit of the inquiry's second phase. These are:

  • whether the regulations relating to high-rise buildings in England and Wales should be changed to apply to buildings lower than 18 metres
  • whether the use of combustible materials on the outside of high-rises should be banned
  • the testing and certification of materials
  • the installation of sprinklers

London fire chief Dany Cotton REFUSES to quit as damning Grenfell report lays bare devastating lack of planning and fatal 'stay put' advice that doomed 72 victims in tower tragedy

The embattled London Fire Brigade chief refused to quit today as she apologised for causing 'additional hurt' to families of Grenfell Tower victims by defending the fatal advice for residents to 'stay put'.

Dany Cotton, who plans to retire next April aged 50 on a pension worth up to £2million, also said she was 'disappointed' by chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick's report for criticising named firefighters for their response.

She admitted the London Fire Brigade would 'do different things' after learning lessons following the inferno in North Kensington, West London, in June 2017.

But she refused to quit, saying she wanted to 'continue to protect the people of London' and insisted she was 'standing here and taking responsibility'.

It comes after the report concluded that the LFB breached national guidelines over its 'gravely inadequate' preparations and did not have a plan to evacuate the tower.

Asked if she would quit, she told the BBC: 'No, I won't. I will retire in six months' time because my commitment is to making those changes, and if I resign I can't do that.'

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told Sky News today: 'If I caused any addition hurt or upset to the people of Grenfell, that was never my intention'

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told Sky News today: 'If I caused any addition hurt or upset to the people of Grenfell, that was never my intention'

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told Sky News today: 'If I caused any addition hurt or upset to the people of Grenfell, that was never my intention'

Firefighters gather at Grenfell Tower in West London after the blaze engulfed it in June 2017

Firefighters gather at Grenfell Tower in West London after the blaze engulfed it in June 2017

Firefighters gather at Grenfell Tower in West London after the blaze engulfed it in June 2017

Following the report's release, she told of her anger that 'individual staff members' were criticised despite being 'in completely unprecedented circumstances and faced the most unimaginable conditions while trying to save the lives of others'.

Her response comes after the report accused her of 'remarkable insensitivity' after she said she would not have done anything differently on the night.

Miss Cotton told Sky News: 'What I said in the inquiry about not wanting to change anything was based on the actions of my firefighters on the night.

'Clearly, knowing what we know now about the building and about ACM (aluminium composite material) cladding, we would do things differently.

'But the one thing I want to make clear is if I caused any addition hurt or upset to the people of Grenfell, that was never my intention.

'The loss of life suffered, those 72 people who lost their lives, the families, the bereaved people, we will never ever forget them and we never want anything like this to happen again.'

Asked if the LFB would do anything differently, Miss Cotton said: 'We know over the last five years we've had over 5,000 high rise fires in London for which absolutely virtually all of them 'stay put' has been the right policy and has protected those people in those buildings.

'Clearly, now knowing what we know about the building, knowing not only about the highly-flammable cladding, but all the fire safety breaches, we'd do different things – and we've learnt, and we've got different steps in place now.'

Government rejects call for toxin exposure monitoring scheme after Grenfell fire

Mary Creagh, Environmental Audit Committee chairwoman

Mary Creagh, Environmental Audit Committee chairwoman

Mary Creagh, Environmental Audit Committee chairwoman

The Government has rejected calls for a monitoring programme to check residents' exposure to toxic chemicals in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

The parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee's chairwoman Mary Creagh accused the Government of having 'utterly failed' residents for not implementing a 'full health biomonitoring' programme after the tragedy.

A report from the committee in July backed calls from experts and residents for such a programme, after concerns over environmental contamination caused by the fire in June 2017 in which 72 people died.

The parliamentary committee also recommended that local people with concerns about dust or residues in their homes should be offered the opportunity to have them tested.

The committee of MPs made the recommendations its report on toxic chemicals in everyday life, in which it described how residents have reported the emergence of the 'Grenfell cough' and health problems including vomiting, coughing up blood, skin complaints and breathing difficulties

Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, West London, in June 2017

Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, West London, in June 2017

Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, West London, in June 2017

A scientific study also found cancer-causing chemicals in samples taken from balconies within 100m of the tower a month after the blaze and 'significant environmental contamination' in the surrounding area, including in oily deposits collected 17 months after the tragedy.

Researchers concluded there was an increased risk of a number of health problems including cancer and asthma to those in the area.

But in its response to the EAC's report, the Government did not accept the calls for a programme to monitor people's exposure to toxins, saying it is not usually possible to determine if contaminants can be associated with such a fire.

It said Public Health England felt it 'could cause unnecessary concern to an already distressed community', and it would not provide reassurance as there was no pre-fire analysis for comparison.

And it highlighted 'additional, ongoing environmental checks' being carried out in and around the Grenfell Tower site, £50 million to fund long-term treatment for those affected by the fire and enhanced health checks offered by the NHS.

Mrs Creagh said: 'The Government has utterly failed Grenfell residents in the aftermath of the disaster.

'Rejecting our call for a comprehensive biomonitoring scheme – which would reassure Grenfell's traumatised community – is another example of public authorities' complacent and patronising attitude towards residents after the fire.'

On wider action to take toxic chemicals out of use, the committee also criticised the Government for failing to make swift progress to remove products such as flame-retardants used on home furnishings.

Miss Cotton was also asked why she had not resigned, saying: 'I can understand that the people of Grenfell are hurting and the people of Grenfell want somebody to be accountable. I absolutely understand that.

'What's been important for me, and continues to be important for me, is that we are putting steps in place to change things – we are learning. We've identified our own areas that we've been concerned about way before the inquiry.

'It's important for me that I continue to protect the people of London by putting those steps in place and developing London Fire Brigade. And by resigning now that would not happen.

'I think it's London Fire Brigade that they (the public) trust, because London Fire Brigade are there protecting the people of London day in, day out.

'For me, the important thing is recognising that I'm here now – I'm committed to learning from this. I'm standing here and I'm taking responsibility for London Fire Brigade.'

The report today has slammed the fire brigade over a lack of planning – after she notoriously told the inquiry that preparing for the North Kensington blaze would have been akin to preparing for landing a spaceship on the Shard.

But Sir Martin said her evidence 'only serves to demonstrate that the LFB is an institution at risk of not learning the lessons of the Grenfell Tower fire'.

Today, in a statement, Miss Cotton said: 'We welcome the Chairman's recognition of the courage, commitment and bravery of firefighters on the night.

'But we are disappointed at some of the criticism of individual staff members who were placed in completely unprecedented circumstances and faced the most unimaginable conditions while trying to save the lives of others.

'On the evacuation of Grenfell Tower we note the Chairman states he has received no expert evidence to guide him on reaching his conclusion and that a qualitative judgement on the Brigade's approach might be better reserved for Phase 2.'

Ms Cotton has not been seen by neighbours at her £335,000 three-bedroom end of terrace home in Orpington, Kent, since Monday night.

Her purple 2016 Volkswagen car was parked on her driveway. Great-grandfather Barry Elliott, 81, said: 'I last saw her on Monday evening.

'Someone picks her up at about 5am and she goes all over the country for her job. It's not a 9-5 job. I speak to her a bit when I see her.

'Grenfell well and truly upset her – we've spoken about it. I don't know how she'll be feeling now. Dany's a good neighbour, she's always helpful.

'She's got a thankless job as far. As I was concerned, the firefighters did the job the way they had to do it. Dany couldn't just say 'we will do it this way'.'

Married mother-of-two Sukhjinder Rai, 43, added: 'I last saw her two days ago. She gets picked up and dropped home by a taxi. She never takes her own car to work. We just say hello and nothing more.

'She is nice. She always helps us – sometimes she puts my bin out when we're not here. She's very friendly and very helpful. She's a peaceful lady.'

Survivors of the Grenfell Tower inferno have condemned Miss Cotton for retiring with a £2million pension pot, saying she has been 'paid off for doing a deadly job'.

The report found that systemic failures by the LFB increased the number of deaths because it told residents to 'stay put' in flats for almost two hours after the first 999 call.

Miss Cotton was lambasted in the report for 'remarkable insensitivity' in her evidence to the public inquiry in September last year.

Rukayet Mamudu, 71, who survived the fire after carrying her son Tyrshondre, 12,

Rukayet Mamudu, 71, who survived the fire after carrying her son Tyrshondre, 12,

Nabil Choucair lost six relatives in the fire

Nabil Choucair lost six relatives in the fire

Rukayet Mamudu (left), 71, who survived the fire after carrying her son Tyrshondre (both left), 12, and Nabil Choucair (right), who lost six relatives in the blaze, both criticised Miss Cotton

Revealed: How 59 senior fire officers sat through presentation on tower block blazes and dangers of cladding nearly a YEAR before Grenfell tragedy

Fire officers in London were briefed on the dangers of blazes within cladding less than a year before the Grenfell Tower inferno, the inquiry report revealed today.

Some 59 senior officers are thought to have attended the presentation in July 2016, 11 months before the blaze which killed 72 people in West London in June 2017.

A copy of the London Fire Brigade's Tall Building Facades presentation revealed as part of the inquiry shows how fire can rapidly spread through a high-rise block.

The London Fire Brigade's Tall Building Facades presentation was revealed as part of the inquiry, and is dated July 13, 2016 - showing that it took place nearly a year before the blaze

The London Fire Brigade's Tall Building Facades presentation was revealed as part of the inquiry, and is dated July 13, 2016 - showing that it took place nearly a year before the blaze

The London Fire Brigade's Tall Building Facades presentation was revealed as part of the inquiry, and is dated July 13, 2016 – showing that it took place nearly a year before the blaze

Diagrams included in the presentation include one illustrating what can happen in a blaze

Diagrams included in the presentation include one illustrating what can happen in a blaze

Diagrams included in the presentation include one illustrating what can happen in a blaze

In a diagram illustrating what can happen in a blaze, it says: 'If the external cladding contributes to the flame spread, there is a risk of secondary fire spread to all levels.'

The Powerpoint presentation says flames 'spread up over or through the cladding' and can 'extend over 2m (6ft) above window opening regardless of cladding'.

Other diagrams show the flames can spread through cavities in tower blocks and technical guidance over the use of combustible cladding materials on buildings.

The presentation also points to previous major fires in cities such as Baku, Shanghai and Dubai – as well as some in the UK including Garnock Court in Glasgow in 1999.

Other diagrams in the presentation show flames can spread through cavities in tower blocks

Other diagrams in the presentation show flames can spread through cavities in tower blocks

Other diagrams in the presentation show flames can spread through cavities in tower blocks

The presentation also points to previous major fires in cities such as Baku, Shanghai and Dubai

The presentation also points to previous major fires in cities such as Baku, Shanghai and Dubai

The presentation also points to previous major fires in cities such as Baku, Shanghai and Dubai

The presentation also includes references to estimating how flames spread across cladding or insulation and various diagrams and photographs showing tests.

Today's damning report by Sir Martin Moore-Bick found there 'appears to have been a failure properly to understand the risk of cladding fires in high-rise buildings'.

It said this was 'despite the fact that by 2017 many buildings of a similar kind in other countries had suffered fires in cladding, some of which had been well publicised'.

The report adds that some senior officers in the LFB 'had become aware of the risk, as appears from the Tall Building Facades presentation'.

The LFB presentation also includes various diagrams and photographs showing fire tests

The LFB presentation also includes various diagrams and photographs showing fire tests

The LFB presentation also includes various diagrams and photographs showing fire tests

The presentation also looks at a previous fire at a tower block in Shepherd's Bush, West London

The presentation also looks at a previous fire at a tower block in Shepherd's Bush, West London

The presentation also looks at a previous fire at a tower block in Shepherd's Bush, West London

However, it says 'there had been no attempt to disseminate the information to potential incident commanders and no attempt to equip them with the knowledge or skills needed to recognise and respond to such fires'.

An LGB spreadsheet which was also revealed as part of the inquiry showed 59 officers were due to have attended the session out of 106 who were invited.

Meanwhile, survivors of the fire welcomed today's report which said the LFB breached national guidelines through 'gravely inadequate' preparation.

Sir Martin said the absence of an evacuation plan was a 'major omission' and more lives could have been saved had the 'stay-put' policy been abandoned sooner.

Timeline of tragedy: How the Grenfell fire unfolded and the inquiry not expected to be finished in 2022

Here are the key moments that have defined the aftermath of the tragedy over the past three years.

– June 14 2017

At 12.54am, a call is made to the London Fire Brigade reporting fire has broken out in a fourth floor flat.

Barely half an hour later, at 1.29am, flames have now climbed to the top floor of the 24-storey block.

– June 28 2017

Retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick is appointed to lead a public inquiry into the disaster.

He provokes alarm among survivors and bereaved families by initially expressing doubt that his investigation would be broad enough to satisfy all.

A public consultation is launched to determine the probe's terms of reference.

– July 28 2017

The Government announces an independent review into building regulations will be led by Dame Judith Hackitt.

It is alleged that they are complex, unclear and leave enough wriggle room for contractors to cut corners on safety.

– August 15 2017

The terms of reference of the inquiry are announced.

It will include the cause of the fire and the actions of authorities before and after the blaze, but not broader concerns about the treatment of social tenants in Britain.

– September 19 2017

The Metropolitan Police announce a widening of their criminal investigation, with detectives now considering individual as well as corporate manslaughter charges.

– November 16 2017

More than five months on from the disaster, police say their final estimate for the number of people who died in the fire is 70, plus a stillborn baby.

– November 30 2017

A petition, backed by singer Adele, is set up urging Mrs May to appoint additional panel members alongside the inquiry chairman.

It is feared that Sir Martin will lack valuable first-hand experience of life as a social tenant in a multicultural neighbourhood.

– December 22 2017

Theresa May turns down the request from survivors and bereaved families to overhaul the public inquiry, saying Sir Martin has the 'necessary expertise to undertake its work'.

– January 29 2018

Maria del Pilar Burton, a 74-year-old survivor known as Pily, dies in palliative care. She had been in a care home, unable to return to her husband Nicholas, since the fire.

She comes to be considered the 72nd victim of the fire.

– May 21 2018

The inquiry begins seven days of commemoration hearings to the dead, starting with a heartbreaking tribute to the fire's youngest victim, stillborn Logan Gomes.

– June 21 2018

Firefighter evidence begins. It ends with Commissioner Dany Cotton telling the inquiry she would change nothing about her team's response on the night of the fire.

Survivors and the bereave react with anger.

– July 18 2018

Scotland Yard announces detectives have carried out three interviews under caution and more will take place over the coming months.

– 12 December 2018

The first phase of the inquiry ends. Sir Martin announces the second phase is unlikely to begin until the end of 2019.

He also announces they are hoping to move to a west London venue for the next phase, after prolonged criticism from the Grenfell community about the inaccessibility of its current location.

– March 6 2019

No charges are likely to be brought in the criminal investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire for at least the next two years, police say.

The Metropolitan Police said it would be 'wrong' not to wait for the final report of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry which will come after the probe's second phase.

Survivors call the wait 'extremely frustrating and disheartening'.

– May 17 2019

The first report of the public inquiry, due to be released in Spring, is delayed until October. Campaigners call the delay 'disgraceful' . The start of the second phase is moved the January 2020.

– October 30 2019

Sir Martin Moore-Bick's report is released, damning fire brigade bosses but praising the firefighters. He also concludes the cladding and insulation breached planning laws

The failures that meant lives were needlessly sacrificed: Litany of shortcomings led to 72 deaths in Grenfell horror

Fire chiefs are castigated in Sir Martin Moore-Bick's 935-page report into the devastating blaze.

The London Fire Brigade was plagued with 'institutional failures' and its preparation for a Grenfell-style inferno was 'gravely inadequate', the retired judge found.

But he also ruled the tower's cladding panels broke building regulations and actively helped spread the blaze. Among his findings:

How the blaze started

The Grenfell tragedy started with an electrical fault in the fridge-freezer of Flat 16, occupied by Behailu Kebede, pictured here leaving his flat on the day of the fire. The report said that Kebede was not responsible for what followed

The Grenfell tragedy started with an electrical fault in the fridge-freezer of Flat 16, occupied by Behailu Kebede, pictured here leaving his flat on the day of the fire. The report said that Kebede was not responsible for what followed

The Grenfell tragedy started with an electrical fault in the fridge-freezer of Flat 16, occupied by Behailu Kebede, pictured here leaving his flat on the day of the fire. The report said that Kebede was not responsible for what followed

The Grenfell tragedy started with an electrical fault in the fridge-freezer of Flat 16, but its occupant Behailu Kebede was not to blame, the report says.

Sir Martin said it was more important to establish 'how the failure of a common domestic appliance could have such disastrous consequences'.

'Inadequate' fire planning

The firefighters who repeatedly ran into the burning building were praised for their 'extraordinary bravery and selfless devotion to duty'.

But they were let down by having no training for a fire of such magnitude.

Sir Martin said: 'The London Fire Brigade's preparation and planning for a fire such as that at Grenfell Tower was gravely inadequate.' Officers were faced 'with a situation for which they had not properly been prepared', and commanders had 'no training' on the dangers associated with combustible cladding.

Nor did they have any training on how to recognise the need for an evacuation of a high-rise block – let alone mount one. Sir Martin said there was simply 'no contingency plan' for evacuation.

The fire service's database on large London buildings was 'many years out of date' and contained 'almost no information of use'.

Safety design flaws

Firefighters spray water onto the Grenfell Tower block which was destroyed in a disastrous fire, in north Kensington, West London, Britain June 16, 2017

Firefighters spray water onto the Grenfell Tower block which was destroyed in a disastrous fire, in north Kensington, West London, Britain June 16, 2017

Firefighters spray water onto the Grenfell Tower block which was destroyed in a disastrous fire, in north Kensington, West London, Britain June 16, 2017

This picture of the Grenfell Tower six months after the blaze shows the damage to the external building. There was a catastrophic failure of ‘compartmentation’ – the safety design that supposedly stops fires spreading from flat to flat. The tower’s outside walls failed to comply with building regulations. There was ‘compelling evidence’ that the walls did not ‘adequately resist the spread of fire – on the contrary, they actively promoted it’

This picture of the Grenfell Tower six months after the blaze shows the damage to the external building. There was a catastrophic failure of ‘compartmentation’ – the safety design that supposedly stops fires spreading from flat to flat. The tower’s outside walls failed to comply with building regulations. There was ‘compelling evidence’ that the walls did not ‘adequately resist the spread of fire – on the contrary, they actively promoted it’

This picture of the Grenfell Tower six months after the blaze shows the damage to the external building. There was a catastrophic failure of 'compartmentation' – the safety design that supposedly stops fires spreading from flat to flat. The tower's outside walls failed to comply with building regulations. There was 'compelling evidence' that the walls did not 'adequately resist the spread of fire – on the contrary, they actively promoted it'

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in the Grenfell Tower apartment block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in the Grenfell Tower apartment block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in the Grenfell Tower apartment block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017

Pictured are the ashened lifts inside the Grenfell tower. Lives were probably lost because crews and 999 operators wasted ‘the best part of an hour’ telling the block’s occupants to ‘stay put’ in their flats – before realising the blaze was wildly out of control, the report says

Pictured are the ashened lifts inside the Grenfell tower. Lives were probably lost because crews and 999 operators wasted ‘the best part of an hour’ telling the block’s occupants to ‘stay put’ in their flats – before realising the blaze was wildly out of control, the report says

Pictured are the ashened lifts inside the Grenfell tower. Lives were probably lost because crews and 999 operators wasted 'the best part of an hour' telling the block's occupants to 'stay put' in their flats – before realising the blaze was wildly out of control, the report says

Psychologist reveals 'trauma' suffered by Grenfell firefighters including one who had to choose to save a five-year-old child or a mother with a newborn baby

Psychologist Dr Shamender Talwar speaks on Radio 4 today

Psychologist Dr Shamender Talwar speaks on Radio 4 today

Psychologist Dr Shamender Talwar speaks on Radio 4 today

A psychologist who co-ordinated support for fireman battling the Grenfell Tower blaze has revealed how 'traumatised' crews were following the tragedy.

Dr Shamender Talwar, who is based in Kensington, West London, and also gave victims of the fire free therapy, said one firefighter had a choice between saving a five-year-old child or a mother with a newborn baby.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'Basically the firemen risked their lives.

'They were only told to do what they had to do, given instructions by their superiors to go in and save as many lives as possible. When they went in they had been traumatised.

'There had been incidents where firemen had come down and basically had a choice of where they had seen a five-year-old on the left hand side and on the right hand side they see a mother with a newborn. What do they do?

'They come back, and they come back traumatised, they come back scarred. And that's why this has to be some sort of closure not just for the survivors but for the firemen too.'

There was a catastrophic failure of 'compartmentation' – the safety design that supposedly stops fires spreading from flat to flat.

Had compartmentation worked, it would have contained the blaze in the first flat until firefighters could put it out, enabling occupants elsewhere to 'stay put'.

The 'rapid' failure of compartmentation meant the intensity of the heat shattered glass windows. Kitchen extractor fans were deformed and dislodged, giving the flames a deadly pathway. Fire doors at the front of flats failed in their job, filling lobbies with smoke.

Stay-put strategy

Lives were probably lost because crews and 999 operators wasted 'the best part of an hour' telling the block's occupants to 'stay put' in their flats – before realising the blaze was wildly out of control, the report says.

Incident commanders failed to recognise that compartmentation had failed and a full evacuation may have been necessary. They never gained control.

Sir Martin says of the stay-put strategy: 'Once it was clear that the fire was out of control and that compartmentation had failed, a decision should have been taken to organise the evacuation.

That decision should have been made between 1.30am and 1.50am and would be likely to have resulted in fewer fatalities.'

He said 'the best part of an hour was lost' before the stay-put advice was revoked at 2.47am.

Comms shortfalls

Many physical and electronic communication systems did not work properly on the night of the fire. Information sharing between the control room and the commanders on the ground was 'improvised, uncertain and prone to error'.

Crucial information about the spread and extent of the fire was not shared by senior officers at the scene – and they were not kept abreast of vital information that was coming in to the 999 centre from stricken residents.

Control room staff swamped by 999 calls

Control room operators were in the 'invidious' position of being outnumbered by an unprecedented number of 999 calls on the night and 'responded with great courage and dedication in the most harrowing of circumstances', said Sir Martin.

Emotional Kensington firemen join bereaved family members including the parents and sister of Jessica Urbano, at the tribute wall near to Grenfell Tower in West London for a minutes' silence

Emotional Kensington firemen join bereaved family members including the parents and sister of Jessica Urbano, at the tribute wall near to Grenfell Tower in West London for a minutes' silence

Emotional Kensington firemen join bereaved family members including the parents and sister of Jessica Urbano, at the tribute wall near to Grenfell Tower in West London for a minutes' silence

Daily Mail front page June 15, 2017 - Grenfell Tower FireFalling burning debris at the scene of a huge fire at Grenfell tower block in White City, London

Daily Mail front page June 15, 2017 - Grenfell Tower FireFalling burning debris at the scene of a huge fire at Grenfell tower block in White City, London

Daily Mail front page June 15, 2017 – Grenfell Tower FireFalling burning debris at the scene of a huge fire at Grenfell tower block in White City, London

Control room staff 'undoubtedly saved lives', but their operation was beset by 'shortcomings in practice, policy and training'. Call handlers did not always obtain necessary details from those inside Grenfell, such as their flat numbers. Others did not know when to tell residents to evacuate.

Mistakes at a similar blaze were repeated

Damningly, the report says lessons had not been learnt from the Lakanal House fire of 2009. Three women and three children died in that high-rise blaze in Camberwell, South London which bore many similar traits.

Sir Martin said: 'Mistakes made in responding to the Lakanal House fire were repeated.'

He said 999 operators were 'not aware of the danger of assuming that crews would always reach callers'.

Cladding failures

The tower's outside walls failed to comply with building regulations. There was 'compelling evidence' that the walls did not 'adequately resist the spread of fire – on the contrary, they actively promoted it.'

Dany Cotton

Outgoing fire chief Dany Cotton was criticised for her evidence to the inquiry in September last year. Sir Martin suggested her attitude meant the brigade was at risk of failing to learn the lessons from Grenfell.

He also highlighted her apparent lack of curiosity on arriving at the scene when told the stay-put advice had been abandoned.

Sir Martin wrote: 'Quite apart from its remarkable insensitivity to the families of the deceased and to those who escaped from their burning homes with their lives, the Commissioner's evidence that she would not change anything about the response, even with hindsight, only serves to demonstrate that the LFB is an institution at risk of not learning the lessons of the fire.'

'It is for GRENFELL!': Furious Theresa May blasts fellow backbench Tory MPs for mocking Jeremy Corbyn's green tie – worn in honour of 72 victims on day of inquiry's damning verdict

Theresa May was seen rebuking fellow Tories in the Commons today after they ribbed Jeremy Corbyn for wearing a green tie – unaware it was worn in memory of the 72 people who died in Grenfell Tower.

The former prime minister was seen berating several Conservative MPs on the benches around her during PMQs this afternoon.

Mrs May, who was sat behind her successor Boris Johnson was spotted telling colleagues: 'It is for Grenfell' with the Mirror reporting she looked 'incandescent'.

A Labour spokesman said afterwards the Tories were 'contemptible', adding: 'Those Tory MPs mocking his tie would be better supporting justice for families and victims of the Grenfell fire and those who died in similar conflagrations and to deliver safety and protection for people living in tower blocks across the country'.

Jeremy Corbyn wore a bright green tie and pin for Grenfell today but not all Tory MPs seemed to know why

Jeremy Corbyn wore a bright green tie and pin for Grenfell today but not all Tory MPs seemed to know why

Jeremy Corbyn wore a bright green tie and pin for Grenfell today but not all Tory MPs seemed to know why

Theresa May (pictured today) was seen telling off colleagues who were unaware of the significance of the tie

Theresa May (pictured today) was seen telling off colleagues who were unaware of the significance of the tie

Theresa May (pictured today) was seen telling off colleagues who were unaware of the significance of the tie

Mrs May's intervention came before Tory MP Huw Merriman, who worked for Philip Hammond when he was Chancellor, praised outgoing Speaker John Bercow for wearing an Arsenal tie during his last PMQs.

He then asked Jeremy Corbyn, also a fan of the Gunners, why he wasn't wearing his ahead of the team's Carabao Cup quarter final with Liverpool tonight.

He said: 'It's a pleasure to see you in your Arsenal tie – I'm sorry the Leader of the Opposition has not worn his own.'

MPs then shouted at him: 'It's for Grenfell' and afterwards Labour's Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner tweeted: 'Tory backbenchers jeering Jeremy Corbyn for the colour of his Green tie! It's about respect for Grenfell. Shocking lack of awareness from some Tory MPs!'.

Speaking layer Mrs May said the Grenfell disaster was 'a tragedy that should never have happened'.

Speaking during the debate on Sir Martin Moore-Bick's report, Mrs May said: 'This was a horrific loss of life, and of course it was a tragedy that should never have happened.

'And I would like to pay tribute to the survivors and to the families and friends of those who died for the dignity and fortitude that they have shown in circumstances which none of us would want to have to face.'

On the issue of cladding, she said: 'I think it is significant that Sir Martin Moore-Bick was able himself clearly to say that the cladding was non-compliant.

'I think that was an important aspect and finding of part-one of the inquiry, although greater details in relation to those matters will be gone into part two of the inquiry.'

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