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The Grenfell Tower Inquiry Podcast

BBC

Every week the Grenfell Tower Inquiry sits, we analyse and explain the evidence heard.

Every week the Grenfell Tower Inquiry sits, we analyse and explain the evidence heard.

Location:

United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Every week the Grenfell Tower Inquiry sits, we analyse and explain the evidence heard.

Language:

English


Episodes

180 National House Building Council and LABC

12/17/2021
This week the Inquiry questioned representatives from both the National House Building Council and Local Authority Building Control about the steps they took to restrict or approve the use of combustible materials in the years before the Grenfell Tower fire. Steve Evans, an NHBC manager, was warned at a conference 18 months before the Grenfell fire about the dangers of the combustible cladding which would eventually be installed on the tower. The former Technical Sales Director of the LABC,...

Duration:00:33:23

179 Module 6 Opening Statements and LABC

12/11/2021
This week the Inquiry turned its attention to how building regulations were set and combustible materials tested and certified. Lawyers for the bereaved, survivors, and residents accused the government of concealing crucial information from previous fires, and industry bodies of knowingly approving unsafe building materials. Barry Turner, the former Director of Technical Policy at the Local Authority Building Control (LABC), agreed that his organisation’s close relationship with insulation...

Duration:00:42:54

179 Module 6 Opening Statements and LABC

12/10/2021
This week the Inquiry turned its attention to how building regulations were set and combustible materials tested and certified. Lawyers for the bereaved, survivors, and residents accused the government of concealing crucial information from previous fires, and industry bodies of knowingly approving unsafe building materials. Barry Turner, the former Director of Technical Policy at the Local Authority Building Control (LABC), agreed that his organisation’s close relationship with insulation...

Duration:00:41:46

178 London Fire Brigade

12/3/2021
Andy Roe, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, made a series of frank admissions this week. He said the LFB was aware of every single problem that contributed to the Grenfell Tower fire in advance of the night. A former LFB Commissioner, Ron Dobson, also gave evidence. He answered questions on why some of the recommendations that the Brigade committed to after the 2009 Lakanal House fire weren’t addressed. Presenter: Kate Lamble Producers: Sharon Hemans, Nathan Gower Researcher: Ben...

Duration:00:30:34

177 London Fire Brigade: Dany Cotton

11/26/2021
This week evidence was presented by former London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton, who previously told the Inquiry that the LFB could not have prepared for a fire like Grenfell Tower. This time, she conceded that in the years leading up to the fire, the LFB failed to take on board national guidance that warned how combustible cladding could lead to rapid fire spread, as it did at Grenfell. Evidence was also provided by another former LFB Commissioner, Ron Dobson. We heard how LFB...

Duration:00:28:53

176 London Fire Brigade

11/19/2021
This week the Inquiry continued to look at how the London Fire Brigade (LFB) trained its Control Room staff to deal with emergency calls. Evidence was provided by Joanne Smith, the Senior Operations Manager in the Control Room on the night of the Grenfell fire, and Tom George, former Assistant Commissioner for Operational Response accountable for staff training. The Inquiry heard how the LFB’s training on emergency calls didn’t include guidance on asking callers if they had any mobility...

Duration:00:30:02

175 London Fire Brigade

11/12/2021
This week the Inquiry looked at how the London Fire Brigade (LFB) trained its Control Room staff to deal with emergency calls. Evidence was given by Scott Hayward, former LFB Principal Operations Manager, and Joanne Smith, the Senior Operations Manager in the Control Room on the night of the Grenfell fire. The Inquiry heard how leading up to Grenfell there were a series of failures to improve the training of Control Room staff, despite commitments to learn the lessons of a fatal fire in a...

Duration:00:34:43

174 London Fire Brigade

11/5/2021
This week the Inquiry focused on the London Fire Brigade’s firefighting policies for high-rise buildings. Peter Cowup – former Assistant Commissioner of the LFB’s Operational Policy Department, and Patrick Utting from the LFB’s Operational Policy Team told the Inquiry how the LFB updated their policies in light of fires in South London in 2009 and Southampton in 2010. Presenter: Tom Symonds; Producers: Sharon Hemans, May Cameron and Nathan Gower; Researcher: Ben Henderson; Studio Mix: Gareth...

Duration:00:32:22

173 Module 3 Closing Statements and Module 6 Opening Statements

10/29/2021
This week the inquiry saw the closing of one module and the beginning of another. The opening statements for module six looked at how local and national policies guided the work of firefighters on the night of the fire. In the closing statements for module three, we heard about how the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Tenant Management Organisation carried out their duties regarding Grenfell Tower. Presenter / Producer: Kate Lamble Producer: Sharon Hemans Researchers: May...

Duration:00:35:15

172 - Expert Witnesses

10/22/2021
The inquiry heard evidence from expert witnesses on the London Fire Brigade’s preparedness for the Grenfell Tower fire. Fire safety expert Professor Jose Torero argued that the LFB lacked the technical knowledge which would have allowed them to understand how the fire was behaving. The inquiry also heard from expert witness Chris McGuirk on the LFB’s information gathering policies, and from Professor Chris Johnson on radio communications. Presenter / Producer: Kate Lamble Producer: Sharon...

Duration:00:27:35

171 Kent Fire and Rescue Service

10/15/2021
Paul Grimwood, a fire engineer at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, developed an alternative approach to firefighting in high rise buildings in 2008. The approach allowed incident commanders to assess which of four firefighting strategies - rescue, intervention, containment or evacuation - should be prioritised. Lawyers from the bereaved, survivors and residents of Grenfell Tower have questioned why the London Fire Brigade did not do the same. Presenter / Producer: Kate Lamble Producers: Sharon...

Duration:00:16:25

170 London Fire Brigade: Week 3

10/8/2021
This week we learned that a member of the London Fire Brigade’s Fire Safety Team wrote that giving advice on the risks of high rise cladding fires could be the ‘cat out of the bag on this issue’. The inquiry also heard evidence from the LFB’s former director of operations. Dan Brown said that at the time of the Grenfell Tower fire more than 5,000 high rise buildings were not present on the brigade’s operational risk database. Presenter / Producer: Kate Lamble Producer: Sharon Hemans...

Duration:00:27:01

169 The London Fire Brigade

10/1/2021
The “uncontrolled spread of fire across the outside of tall buildings is a significant threat”. The inquiry revealed that weeks before the fire at Grenfell Tower LFB staff wrote a presentation which warned of the risks of façade fires weeks. The inquiry heard evidence from a Deputy Commissioner, Director of Operational Resilience and Training, and Assistant Commissioner and Head of Fire Safety. Presenter / Producer: Kate Lamble Producer: Sharon Hemans Researchers: May Cameron and Nathan...

Duration:00:31:51

168 London Fire Brigade Opening Statements

9/24/2021
“The simple fact is that the LFB did know. They knew, and lives could and should have been saved”. This week the inquiry heard new evidence about the management of the LFB and how it trained its staff ahead of the Grenfell Tower fire. A lawyer representing a group of the bereaved, survivors and residents said his clients did not want heroes in the LFB, “but well trained professionals working to a well-structured plan”. The LFB’s former deputy commissioner revealed the government failed to...

Duration:00:32:18

167 Closing Statements

9/17/2021
“Truly a case of donkeys led by donkeys”. This was how a lawyer for a group of the bereaved, survivors and residents described lead contractor Rydon, the firm of architects Studio E and specialist cladding contractor, Harley Facades. Core participants submitted closing statements, marking the end of the first two sections of Phase 2 of the inquiry which heard evidence about the refurbishment of the tower which put combustible materials on the external walls of the tower. Producer /...

Duration:00:35:39

166 Expert Witness: Barbara Lane

9/10/2021
“Professionally reckless behaviour”. Expert witness Barbara Lane gave evidence on the fire risk assessments carried out at Grenfell Tower. She described the fire risk assessor’s behaviour as ‘reckless’ for signing off the building’s cladding as safe without evidence. She also deemed it ‘not acceptable’ that residents with disabilities weren’t identified. Presenter / Producer: Kate Lamble Producers: Sharon Hemans and Ben Carter Researcher: May Cameron Studio Mix: Gareth Jones Editor: Jasper...

Duration:00:31:59

165 Expert Witnesses and the TMO

7/30/2021
“An necessary tragedy”. The inquiry revealed the Local Government Association was warned in 2011 that its failure to recommend evacuation plans for residents with disabilities could lead to an ‘unnecessary tragedy’. Expert witness Colin Todd gave evidence on the work of fire risk assessor Carl Stokes and answered questions about guidance he helped draw up. The inquiry’s expert witness on building control Beryl Menzies examined the role the council’s building control department had played...

Duration:00:42:43

164 Lifts

7/23/2021
Expert witness Roger Howkins concluded the inquiry’s examination into the lifts at Grenfell Tower. Contractors who worked on the lifts and a former engineer from the Tenant Management Organisation also gave evidence. Presenter / Producer: Kate Lamble Producer: Sharon Hemans Researcher: May Cameron Studio Mix: Gareth Jones

Duration:00:23:20

163 Gas Pipes and Lifts

7/16/2021
“That culture possibly needs to change”. Gas safety expert Rodney Hancox concluded the design of the gas pipes installed on Grenfell Tower did not comply with building regulations. Staff from the contractor involved in installing the gas pipes accepted the company failed to identify safety hazards. The inquiry also heard evidence from lift consultants Butler & Young. Presenter / Producer: Kate Lamble Producer: Sharon Hemans Researcher: May Cameron Studio Mix: Gareth Jones

Duration:00:37:25

162 The Smoke Ventilation Designers and Contractors

7/9/2021
The smoke ventilation system installed at Grenfell Tower as part of the refurbishment did not comply with building regulation guidance. The designer of the system, Hugh Mahoney, told the inquiry he did not think any system could be compliant. Presenter & Producer: Kate Lamble Producer: Sharon Hemans Researcher: Luke Radcliff Studio Mix: Gareth Jones

Duration:00:40:54