Firefighter recalls fatal fire

12 Feb 2013

A firefighter has described the events that led to six people losing their lives in a fire at Lakanal House in south-east London in July 2009.

Daniel Sharpe, a crew manager, told the inquest that many people contemplated jumping after they were left stranded as the blaze took hold of the block of flats in Camberwell. The fire crew attempted to console residents before the other emergency services arrived.

Mr Sharpe noted how he and a colleague saw "debris coming down igniting" and "a large noise coming from the eastern side - shouts were going up that people might jump" as they used a cage to rescue a family on one level of the building.

Three women and three children on the 11th floor were killed in the fire. Last month, it emerged firefighters carried out a routine check of Lakanal House two months prior to the incident. They tested hydrants, dry risers and lifts.

The findings of the inquest could lead to a change in fire safety legislation. Officials are determined to make sure fire risk assessments are thorough enough to reduce or completely remove the risk of a fire taking place in a tower block.

Copyright Press Association 2013



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