Grenfell Tower Official fire safety warnings served in 2016 documents reveal

The scaffold clad Grenfell Tower seen from Holland Park in August 2018Credit:REUTERS/Toby Melville Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. They raised questions about how the refurbishment had affected the operation of the building’s smoke venting system and the firefighter’s lift controls. Official warnings identifying multiple fire safety failings at Grenfell Tower were served on the building’s management the year before the fire but no action was taken, documents have revealed.An independent Fire Risk Assessment, a routine inspection during the refurbishment process, was carried out in June 2016 and recommended action on more than 40 “high risk” issues within two to three weeks, according to ITV News.Four months later, the fire risk assessor wrote to the the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) asking why action still hadn’t been taken on more than 20 issues he had identified in his report.A separate fire deficiency notice from the then London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), was issued in November 2016 with a deadline for action in May 2017, a month before the blaze ripped through the tower, killing 72 residents.The documents are the first to reveal that official warnings about fire safety, that the KCTMO was legally required to act upon, were issued before the fire.The two fire safety audits reportedly  identified problems with damaged or poorly fitted fire doors and fire doors that did not self-close. Grenfell Tower residents have previously revealed that they warned the KCTMO of fire safety concerns over a period of several years.The KCTMO ceased to exist following the fire but the owner of Grenfell Tower, Kensington and Chelsea council, said in a statement: “This will be a matter for the public inquiry, and to comment further could risk prejudicing the ongoing police investigation.“We do not want to do or say anything that could obstruct the course of justice, because justice is what our residents want the most.“Our first thoughts and our last thoughts will always be with those that lost their lives in the Grenfell Tragedy. We have been clear that we want the whole unvarnished truth and we will do all we can to assist, no matter what the consequences are for the council.” Barbara Lane, a fire engineer who analysed the blaze, detailed such failings in her official report to the Grenfell Inquiry.She said that refurbishment work undertaken on lifts in 2005 and between 2012-16 left them unfit for evacuating vulnerable residents and aiding the emergency response.She also found that all of the 106 flat entrance fire doors replaced in 2011 did not meet building regulation standards which required them to withstand a fire for 30 minutes. The scaffold clad Grenfell Tower seen from Holland Park in August 2018

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