Shepherds Bush fire: Grenfell disaster changes how London firefighters respond to high-rise blaze

London Fire Brigade (LFB) have changed the way they respond to fires in the city since the Grenfell Tower disaster, a commander said today. Incident Commander Liam Hall today explained how firefighters learned ‘lessons learnt’ from the west London tragedy which claimed 72 lives in 2017, using new technologies and policies to prevent such an incident does not happen again.

The announcement comes as news broke today (Tuesday June 21) that another fire had broken out at a high-rise tower in west London within sight of Grenfell Tower, with 60 firefighters and eight fire engines deployed to fight the flames. The fire started on the 12th floor of a tower block on Queensdale Crescent in Shepherds Bush at 9.23am and was under control by 11.20am.

The Shepherds Bush building does not have the same flammable coating that caused such devastation in Grenfell, but in a debriefing after today’s fire, Incident Commander Hall said the brigade still had took lessons from Grenfell which changed the LFB’s response to the latest fire.

He said the brigade were concerned about the “proximity” of Grenfell Tower and their response was based on “lessons learned from this incident”. The fire commander explained how firefighters this time attended to the blaze – which saw half an apartment on the 12th floor of the building on fire – and used new technologies and policies.

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A fire at a high-rise building on Queensdale Crescent, Shepherds Bush saw firefighters rush to the scene within minutes

He confirmed the building lacked the flammable cladding seen on Grenfell, meaning the fire was contained within the flat. As a result, residents were asked to stay put. He said firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes, with eight fire engines dispatched to the scene, alongside officers from the Metropolitan Police.

Incident commander Hall said no serious injuries were reported from the fire, which has now been extinguished. He added that the brigade was now working hard to bring residents home.

Station Commander David Bracewell, speaking at the scene of the fire earlier today, said: “Firefighters are dealing with a fire on the 12th floor of a W11 tower. Three people from the affected apartment left before the brigade arrived A number of other residents evacuated the building.

“Firefighters led six residents to safety via an internal staircase. Other residents who were not affected by the fire, heat or smoke were asked to remain in their apartment. At first, we used a new technology called 9Eye which allowed a caller to send a live video feed of the incident directly to the brigade’s 999 call centre.

“We also used a 32m turntable ladder to put water outside the building.”

A woman, named Joanna, took pictures of the fire. She wrote on social media: “In west London I saw this and heard sirens. Approaching it seems a different building than the [Grenfell] The tower is on fire. No less horrible for those affected and made me feel physically ill. What must it be like for everyone affected by Grenfell and dealing with such trauma on a daily basis?”

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