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Saturday, 7 December

Grenfell Tower Fire Update

The Metropolitan Police Service is leading the investigation into the fire at Grenfell Tower. We have statements from both the police and the London Fire Brigade.

The investigation team is being drawn together from detectives from across the Met, led by Detective Chief Inspector Matt Bonner of the Homicide and Major Crime Command. He said: "At this stage the Met can confirm that, following initial reports from specialist investigators and experts who have examined the flat where the fire started, there is nothing to suggest the fire was started deliberately. However, like any police investigation, it is the job of the police to establish all the facts and if any criminal offences have been committed."

The Met will work closely with the London Fire Brigade and the Health and Safety Executive, and it has been agreed that the police will take primacy of the investigation.

 

Dead and injured

At least 30 fatalities have been confirmed - the bodies of twelve people have been recovered and are at a mortuary, which includes one person who has also died at hospital.

"The other deceased remain inside the building. Sadly, it is expected that the total will rise and it is not expected that any survivors will be found," said Detective Chief Inspector Bonner.

At this stage 24 people remain in hospital, 12 of whom are receiving critical care. 76 people remain missing.

 

London Fire Brigade update - June 16

Twenty firefighters and four fire engines, plus other specialist resources, have remained at the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire in North Kensington throughout the night.

Crews have remained at the scene to monitor the stability of the building’s structure, managing the inner cordon and damping down any remaining pockets of fire.

Firefighters will remain at the scene throughout Friday. In addition, three Urban Search and Rescue  (USAR) modules and 30 specialist USAR firefighters are working to make the block safe so firefighters can continue to progress throughout the building, making a detailed search.

This search is expected be a slow and painstaking process which will require a large amount of shoring-up work, especially on the upper floors which will be the most challenging for to access and search.

USAR officers will be working alongside the Metropolitan Police Disaster Victim Identification team and London Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team to assist with recovering people from the building.

 

Identifying the victims

Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police said: "A priority of each and every one of us involved in the ongoing operation at Grenfell Towers is to recover and identify all the victims.

"Working with the Coroner and specialist detectives, using internationally recognised standards of identification, we will ensure that families are informed as soon as possible when we know beyond doubt that it is their loved one who has been identified.

"Our efforts are focused on making sure we have family liaison officers supporting all those families where people are dead, critically ill in hospital or still unaccounted for.

"The conditions inside Grenfell Tower mean that the search and recovery operation to find and recover the victims is extremely challenging. The upper floors of the block are particularly hazardous due to the damage caused by the fire. The sad reality is that this work will take some time, stretching into many, many weeks."

 

Previous reporting

15 June 2017

The London fire Brigade has reported that crews remained at the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire in north Kensington throughout the night.

Firefighters worked with the gas authority to isolate a ruptured gas main in the block and once this work was completed they were able to extinguish the fire with the help of a 40 metre aerial appliance brought in to assist from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.

In addition to firefighting operations, crews continued to work with the local authority to reassure concerned residents from neighbouring blocks in the area and to offer them home fire safety advice.

Throughout Wednesday June 14, 60 firefighters and eight fire engines and other specialist resources were still at the Lancaster West Estate, in London's north Kensignton. Urban Search and Rescue teams worked wtih local authority contractors to shore up the building to make it safe to continue with the next phase of the operation.

The London Ambulance Service confirmed on Weds 14 that 68 people had been taken to six hospitals and a further 10 people self-presented

 The Metropolitan Police Casualty Bureau is still open for members of the public who are concerned about relatives or friends t 0800 0961 233.

Grenfell Tower residents are asked to go to the Portobello Rugby Club at Walmer Road.

 

Wednesday 1 from the London Ambulance Service - 12 fatalities

London Ambulance Service Director of Operations Paul Woodrow said: "Following the fire at Grenfell Tower, 18 people are currently in critical care. 12 have died.

"Over 100 of our clinicians have worked extremely hard in difficult circumstances to care for those who were injured. This has been a protracted and large-scale incident over many hours.

“We initially sent ambulance crews, advanced paramedics, advanced trauma teams from London's Air Ambulance, as well as our hazardous area response teams who carry specialist equipment including breathing apparatus. We treated patients for a range of injuries, as well as for smoke inhalation."

 

Metropolitan Police

At 5:00pm on Wednesday 14 June Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police Service said: "This remains an active operation by our colleagues from the Fire Brigade.

"Sadly I can confirm that 12 people have died that we know of. There is going to be a long and complex recovery operation. I do anticipate the number of fatalities will sadly increase beyond those 12 people.

 

Previous Reporting

There have been a number of fatalities following the fire in North Kensington in the early hours this morning, Wednesday, June 14.

Police were called at 1:16am to reports of a large fire at a block of flats at the Lancaster West Estate, in London's north Kensignton.

Officers were sent to the scene to assist colleagues from the London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance Service.

Forty fire engines and over 200 firefighters and officers rushed to the scene having received a multitude of calls - the conflagration was at the 120 home Grenfell Tower block. The fire engulfed the 24-storey building. It could be seen across the Capital.

The Brigade received calls first (at 12:54am) and is still at the scene.  Fire crews from North Kensington, Kensington, Hammersmith and Paddington and from surrounding fire stations are in attendance.

The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.

 

The Tower

Grenfell Tower, on the Lancaster West Estate has been undergoing major refurbishment. The tower block is managed by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation on behalf of the Council and. It was built in 1974.

The large scale works included the installation of insulated exterior cladding, new double glazed windows and a new communal heating system. A new communal entrance has been created and there are new facilities for returning tenants, Grenfell Under 3s Nursery and Dale Youth Amateur Boxing Club. Nine new homes have been created from unused spaces.

 

A statement from London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton on the North Kensington tower block fire:

“This is an unprecedented situation, with a major fire that has affected all floors of this 24 storey building, from the second floor up.

“Over 200 firefighters and officers are attending this incident, with 40 fire engines and a range of other specialist vehicles, including 14 fire rescue units in attendance.

“Based on the level of resource that were needed at this fire we declared it a major incident in the early hours of this morning.

“First fire crews were on site in under six minutes.

“Crews wearing breathing apparatus have been working in extremely difficult conditions to rescue people and bring this major fire under control.

“At this time I am sad to confirm that we now know that there have been fatalities. I cannot confirm the number at this time and as you will appreciate with a fire of this size, affecting such a large building it would be unhelpful of me to speculate further.

"Residents have been evacuated from the tower block and number of those have sought medical assistance from the LAS. The evacuation process continues.

“London Ambulance Service have confirmed that currently 30 people have been taken to five hospitals.

 

London Ambulance Service

London Ambulance Service Assistant Director of Operations, Stuart Crichton, said: “We can confirm that we have taken 30 patients to five London hospitals following the incident at  Lancaster West Estate.

“We have declared a major incident and continue to work closely with other emergency services.

“We have deployed over 20 ambulance crews as well as our hazardous area response team and trauma teams from London’s air ambulance who travelled to the scene by car.

“Our priority was to assess the level and nature of injuries and ensure those in the most need are treated first and taken to hospital.”

 

Met Police

Commander Stuart Cundy, from the Metropolitan Police, said: "All the emergency services and other agencies continue to work together at the scene.

"I can confirm there have been a number of fatalities and others receiving medical care. We will be soon making contact with next of kin.

"Anyone who is concerned about loved ones in relation to the fire should contact Casualty Bureau which has been opened following the fire. If you do not get through immediately please do try again.

"Extensive cordons remain in place and a number of nearby residents have been evacuated as a precaution. The A40 is closed in both directions. We kindly ask that the public stay away from the area.

"It is likely to take some time before we are in a position to confirm the cause of the fire."

 

Fire systems failure

Residents fleeing the building have told reporters that they were woken by screams from the building and from below and were forced to use the torches on their mobile phones to light their way. No alarms had gone off to warn them of what was happening. One man said the first he knew of the fire was when a neighbour hammered on his door.

Picture: Grenfell Tower fire with thanks to the London Fire Brigade

 

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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