Communities Secretary John Denham has instructed the Government’s Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, Sir Ken Knight, to report back to him urgently on any emerging findings from the various investigations into last Friday’s fatal fire in South London.
Six died following a serious fire in the fourteen storey Lakanal House in Camberwell on Friday evening. A further 12 people were taken to hospital and around 30 people were rescued. Eighteen fire engines and over 100 firefighters attended the incident.
Denham, whose department has the lead role in Whitehall in working with fire and rescue authorities to reduce fire deaths and injuries, said he wants to ensure there is no delay in learning any necessary lessons from the tragedy in Camberwell and that any emerging conclusions can be shared quickly with fire and rescue authorities, landlords and tenants.
Knight will work with London Fire Brigade, different authorities and other agencies investigating the fire so that any early lessons that need to be acted on can be done so straight-away.
Denham said: “The fire is being investigated by both the police and the Fire Service. While it would be wrong to draw premature conclusions before we fully understand what happened, I want to reassure the public across the country that we will keep them fully informed and take any remedial action as quickly as possible.
“That is why I have asked Sir Ken to report quickly and regularly to me as conclusions emerge from the investigations and inquiries underway.”
Knight’s terms of reference for his report include the fire safety matters applicable to this building and operational procedures and practices undertaken by London Fire Brigade at this incident.