Fire brigade failures in Grenfell Tower fire

Two years after the Grenfell high-rise fire in London, which left 72 dead, an investigation report has found that there were "systematic failures" in the fire brigade operation and that dangerous building materials had been used. Commentators say action must be taken - not only in Britain.

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The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Courage and initiative are not required

The inquiry report concludes that the building was evacuated too late. Commenting in The Daily Telegraph, Allison Pearson is incensed that the chief of the fire brigade, Dany Cotton, still insists she did nothing wrong:

“Cotton is, I'm afraid, a typically lame, shamelessly complacent commissar of Tickbox Britain. Every sinew of the spirit and decency British people admire has been ironed out of such craven, calculating creatures. 'We was only following protocol, Guv' is their mantra. Whether it's police who have ruined innocent people's lives by slavishly pursuing a fatuous 'believe the victim' policy or a fire chief who looks on as 72 men, women and children are incinerated in a central London borough, but still thinks evacuating them would have been a bad idea. Because it's not policy, see.”

Irish Examiner (IE) /

No compromises on building standards!

In Ireland, too, the tragedy should serve as a wake-up call for the authorities, the Irish Examiner admonishes:

“The inquiry found that the 'principal reason' the flames consumed the building with such speed was the combustible aluminium composite material cladding with polyethylene cores which acted as a 'source of fuel'. The panels were, despite myriad warnings, added in the refurbishment of the tower before the June 2017 fire. In a country where developers have such influence, in a country where so many contemporary buildings must be renovated to meet safety requirements this report is yet another strong argument for insisting on high building standards and an effective inspections and vindication regime.”