Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Camberwell fire: lessons must be learned, says government

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.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.