London Fire Brigade

Agenda item

Special Announcements by the Chair and reports by the Chair or the Clerk to the Authority of any Communications

Minutes:

The Vice-Chair referred to the recent terror attack at Parsons Green where an incendiary device had been partially activated on a busy tube train. London Fire Brigade (LFB) crews helped evacuate the train and station, maintaining a hazard zone until the device could be declared safe. The Vice-Chair placed on record the Authority’s thanks to everyone involved.

 

The Vice-Chair updated Members on the work being undertaken by the Brigade in relation to high-rise premises and, in particular, matters relating to cladding. LFB fire inspecting officers had carried out inspections of 480 tower blocks over 18m in height and 40 NHS premises, which were identified with aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding in London, where they considered the general fire precautions in the buildings. Over the summer, large scale tests had been carried out on different ACM cladding assemblies used on buildings in the UK. LFB had now had confirmation of 188 premises in London which had ACM cladding that had failed the large-scale tests. The Brigade would be revisiting these premises to discuss the mitigation, risk assessments and action taken by the ‘Responsible Person’ for the buildings to minimise the risk from fire to the residents in those blocks. Whilst this had been the main focus of work by the Fire Safety Department, Members were advised that the department had supported the expert panel work, other Fire Services’ requests for expert opinion, particularly in relation to fire engineering, and the community safety teams had provided focused community and young people support activities in the areas surrounding Grenfell and the wider safety and reassurance messaging.

 

The Vice-Chair requested that the minutes record Members’ appreciation of the work undertaken by the Fire Safety Department.  

 

The Vice-Chair noted that on Tuesday 5th September 2017 at 12:41 hours, the Brigade received three calls to smoke issuing from a second floor flat in Camberwell. On arrival, there had been heavy smoke coming from the balcony area of the flat and visible flames. Two women aged 18 and 48 years of age had been rescued from the flat by a crew wearing breathing apparatus. Both had been conscious and breathing but were suffering from smoke inhalation and received treatment from Brigade crews before being removed to hospital by ambulance.

 

The Vice-Chair reported that at 13:10 hours on the 18th September 2017, the Brigade received a call to attend an incident of a man who had fallen down a lift shaft in Hammersmith. On arrival, crews observed that the building was under construction and that there were various unguarded drops to lower levels. The casualty had initially been unconscious but when he regained consciousness, extreme panic, fear and disorientation set in. The paramedic asked for assistance to try and calm the man down as there had been symptoms of major head trauma and further injury was highly likely unless he was restrained until such time that the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) could arrive to sedate him. Once in attendance, HEMS sedated the casualty which allowed crews to rescue him on a stretcher to ground floor level where he was removed to hospital.

 

The Vice-Chair noted that in the early hours of Sunday 24th September 2017, the Brigade had been called to an Automatic Fire Alarm actuating and smoke issuing from a block of flats in Sutton. Fire crews from Sutton, Wallington, Mitcham and Croydon fire stations attended the scene. On arrival, the crews had been confronted with a fully involved fire in the ground floor communal hallway. Breathing apparatus crews entered the building and fought their way along the corridor whilst additional breathing apparatus crews searched other flats. Crews used ladders to rescue two adults and two children from the first floor and a further two adults and two children from the third floor of the building.

 

The Vice-Chair commended the work of all crews involved in these incidents.