The main reason for the devastating fire in London's Grenfell Tower in June 2017 was the highly flammable façade cladding. This emerges from an official investigation report. Serious errors and failures of the emergency services further aggravated the situation.
The head of the investigation, Martin Moore-Bick, criticized the document in particular that the fire department had instructed the inhabitants of the skyscraper to stay in their apartments, as the fire spread rapidly.
"Actually, the fire at Grenfell Tower was nothing more than a typical kitchen fire," Moore-Bick wrote. The preparations and training of the London fire brigade had been inadequate. In addition, wrong decisions have been made.
Only two hours after the outbreak of the fire shortly before 1 o'clock the fire brigade changed its strategy. Had she made the decision earlier, there might have been fewer casualties, Moore-Bick said.
Before the official publication of the approximately one thousand-page report, some results had already leaked out.
The fire chief Dany Cotton commented on the allegations and said in a statement that the guidelines and the training of the fire brigade were checked. It also called for far-reaching reforms of building and fire safety regulations at the national level.
"It was an unprecedented apartment fire triggered by significant deficiencies in the building's fire safety measures," she wrote. Residents and rescue workers should never be put back in such a position.
The fire brigade was disappointed with some criticisms of the employees who had been exposed to "unimaginable conditions while trying to save the lives of others," Cotton wrote.
The Fire Chief had been criticized at a post-fire hearing when she said she would make the same decisions again. Cotton had an "incredible lack of sensitivity," said Moore-Bick in the latest report. Cotton announced her resignation.
72 people were killed in the flames in June 2017. A refrigerator had caught fire and started the fire. The flames spread quickly in the 24-story tower. Many people were surprised by the flames in their sleep.