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Councillor warned about escape routes from Grenfell Tower in 2009, inquiry hears


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frightened councillor had tried to lift considerations about how folks would possibly escape from a hearth on the Grenfell Tower after a deadly blaze in a special housing block in 2009, a public inquiry has heard.

Native councillor Judith Blakeman outlined her fears in an e mail to Robert Black who was the chief government of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Administration Organisation (TMO) from 2009 to December 2017 and to director of housing Laura Johnson a day after a hearth at Lakanal Home in Camberwell south London on July 3 2009 by which six folks died.

Within the e mail Ms Blakeman spoke of her fears that people who find themselves making an attempt to flee in a hearth could face a “useless finish” and he or she invitations each officers to hitch her on a visit to the highest ground of Grenfell Tower in west London to see the issue for themselves.

I’d invite you to accompany me as much as the highest ground (of Grenfell Tower) to see how tough it will be to get out of this block within the occasion of an emergency

In an e mail addressed to Mr Black and Ms Johnson, she states: “In mild of the tragic hearth yesterday in Camberwell I’d be grateful if we are able to have a threat evaluation and report on the technique of escape within the occasion of fireside overlaying all of the tower blocks in TMO’s possession inside the borough.

“At Grenfell Tower, for instance, due to the council workplaces on the decrease flooring, getting out of this constructing by the steps is extraordinarily tough and one can find yourself at a useless finish.

“I’d invite you to accompany me as much as the highest ground to see how tough it will be to get out of this block within the occasion of an emergency.”

A fireplace on the Grenfell Tower block in west London in June 2017 claimed 72 lives.

Ms Johnson instructed the inquiry, which is analyzing the circumstances main as much as and surrounding the fireplace, that she didn’t bear in mind getting the e-mail.

The council was the proprietor and landlord of Grenfell Tower.

The TMO was the organisation appointed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) to run its total council housing inventory.

Ms Johnson was the RBKC’s director of housing when the Grenfell Tower hearth befell.

She labored for RBKC from February 2009 till September 2017.

The Grenfell Tower(Jonathan Brady/PA) / PA Wire

Ms Johnson’s response to Ms Blakeman was {that a} working social gathering could be finishing up a overview of the fireplace threat assessments of the communal areas of the council blocks.

Richard Millett QC, lead counsel to the Inquiry, requested: “In mild of Ms Blakeman’s e mail did you particularly direct anybody on the TMO to undertake a threat evaluation of the technique of escape in TMO-managed tower blocks?”

Ms Johnson stated she “didn’t bear in mind”.

On whether or not she took up the supply to go together with Ms Blakeman to the highest ground of Grenfell Tower, Ms Johnson instructed the listening to: “I don’t consider I did.”



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