On 12/07/2018 10:53, The Todal wrote:
> On 12/07/2018 08:31, Martin Brown wrote:
>> On 11/07/2018 10:43, The Todal wrote:
>>> New evidence today from Jo Smith, senior operations manager on the
>>> day of the Grenfell fire.
>>> At 02.30 she made the decision to abandon the "stay put" policy and
>>> to urge residents to abandon the building.
>>> Why not earlier?
>>> "At approximately 01:15hrs I received a 'page' regarding an eight
>>> pump fire. Normal procedure is that anything that is eight pump or
>>> more requires senior operations managers to be notified."
>>> She tells her colleagues that she will be at the control room in 30
>>> minutes. She gets to the control room at 02:15 and makes the decision
>>> to abandon "stay put" within 10 to 15 minutes after that.
>> In essence the problem that the fire brigade had was that they thought
>> they were dealing with a properly designed building with a domestic
>> interior kitchen fire. They were actually facing an incendiary bomb
>> made of highly flammable cladding that had been ignited by a domestic
> And maybe Fire Brigade policies and procedures only suit slow-burning
Domestic fires *should* be relatively slow burning unless someone has
been storing petrol or LPG in the house or running an illegal still.
> Like having an army and navy which doesn't understand tanks and can only
> deal with enemy troops mounted on horses, perhaps.
More like allowing the enemy to label a tank as cavalry. The Grenfell
building after refurbishment was every bit as hazardous to life and limb
as a chemical plant except that people were allowed to sleep in it.
> However, the Inquiry is spending a lot of its time trying to establish
> why certain policies and procedures issued by the Fire Brigade before
> Grenfell were seemingly not taught to the officers or implemented.
I think against the situation they found themselves the procedures could
never have coped. It is a basic tenet of high rise buildings that they
should be intrinsically safe *BY DESIGN*. But this one wasn't.
I suspect the difference between theory and practice. Most people when
they first use a fire extinguisher invariably aim far too high and have
no effect and in the case of CO2 are shocked by the sheer noise of it.
You could be perfect at passing the theory exams but utterly useless at
putting out fires - you have to have a balance. Head for heights and
ability to improvise when things are going pear shaped is ciritical. One
of my neighbours was involved in putting out the York Minster fire.
>> It was not unlike the huge BASF PE warehouse fire on Teesside although
>> smaller in scale the combustible plastic material was the same.
>> The thing to do for the future until this terrible material is removed
>> is to flag all the buildings with it on as "Chemical plants" which
>> ISTR gives 6 tenders immediately and a next level commander by default.
>>> Looks as if it needed a speedier decision-making process in view of
>>> the unusually quick spread of the fire.
>> The building should never have been permitted to exist in this state.
>> The people that did that to the building have to go to jail. There is
>> no other practical solution to this - it is an engineering cockup on
>> the same scale as having a motorway bridge fall down because cowboy
>> builders used the wrong sort of concrete in its construction/renovation.
> Sending people to gaol never solves anything.
It does where negligence and ignoring the rules is involved.
(it is going to be hard to prove though)
> You don't prevent another
> Hillsborough by prosecuting Officer Duckenfield and sending him to
> prison. What prevents another Hillsborough is the careful analysis of
> how the overcrowding occurred and the rules and standards that have been
> introduced since the disaster.
Agreed. But he just a genuine mistake when he was overwhelmed with the
sheer complexity of a live situation. Someone made the conscious
decision to plate the outside of Grenfell House with firelighters.
>> Complaining about how ineffective the firefighters were against an
>> impossible and unwinnable real life situation is utterly futile.
> Pointing out that the fire service was overwhelmed, at times
> disorganised, with radios that didn't work and insufficient capacity in
> their breathing apparatus, and that more people could have been saved if
> things had been better organised, is certainly not futile.
I agree. But given that the fire service have said they don't practice
for mass evacuation nor are the residents of "stay put" buildings
regularly trained in how to evacuate in the event of a fire. Do they
ever practice this in high rise housing? Our lab used to do a full
practice every six months and the main fire doors were heavy enough to
cause casualties if someone wasn't paying attention when they closed.
> We know of course that the building could not have been saved from
> destruction. That's a given. The issue here is whether more lives could
> have been saved.
Probably but the optimal evacuation strategy would also be controversial
and would have been almost impossible to think up on the spot.