THE LONDON Fire Brigade has been interviewed by the Metropolitan Police as part of its investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire.
The Met carried out an interview with the brigade – as a body, as opposed to an individual – under caution in relation to sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which cover general duties of employers to their employees and to persons other than employees.
London fire commissioner Dany Cotton announced that the brigade had voluntarily spoken with police as part of the organisation’s commitment to transparency and efforts to ensure a similar tragedy from happening again.
Cotton said: “We have always been subject to the Metropolitan Police investigation and I want to ensure it is accurately and publicly known the Brigade has now, voluntarily, given an interview ‘under caution in relation to the Health and Safety at Work Act’.
“As the fire and rescue service attending the Grenfell Tower fire it is entirely correct that we are part of the investigation. Hundreds of firefighters, officers and control officers have already provided voluntary police interviews and we will continue to do all we can to assist investigators.”
The fire that engulfed the Grenfell Tower block in June 2017 killed 72 people.
Flammable cladding is believed to have caused the fire, which started from a fridge freezer on the fourth floor, to spread so quickly.
The Met has conducted 17 interviews under caution as part of its investigation into the blaze. No arrests have been made.
An inquiry into the fire is ongoing with its first report scheduled to be published in October. The second phase of the public inquiry will begin in January 2020.
Cotton said: “The bereaved, survivors and residents need answers and we must all understand what happened and why to prevent communities and emergency services from ever being placed in such impossible conditions ever again.
“This was the largest residential fire London Fire Brigade has attended in its history and we will also continue to ensure firefighters, officers and control officers and other Brigade staff are supported throughout this investigation and the on-going public inquiry.”
Last week, the London Fire Brigades Union said that the government was taking one step forward and two steps back in regards to removing Grenfell-style cladding and tackling “fire safety failings”.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary said: “We keep hearing empty words and empty promises from this government about public safety, but their abysmal record speaks for itself. The same kind of cladding as was on Grenfell Tower still covers 324 high-rise residential buildings – that’s exactly the same number they reported last month. While flammable cladding is removed from social housing at a snail’s pace, the number of private blocks at risk continues to climb.”
“On the countless other fire safety failings endangering residents, we’ve still seen no concrete action. It’s one step forward and two steps back with this government, just like the last. They should hang their heads in shame.”