Last night I joined tenants and residents on the Sceaux Gardens estate to review developments in the lead up to the Lakanal fire inquest.
The judge responsible for the inquest recently decided to withdraw ‘properly interested party’ status from the T&RA. This means that instead of asking questions to witnesses directly, the T&RA will have the opportunity to raise matters with witnesses through the barrister acting as council to the inquest.
Tenants must have a voice at the inquest, which will examine the terrible fire in Lakanal house in June 2009 that killed six people and forced almost 100 families to move. The inquest is due to start in January 2013.
It’s deplorable that it’s taken so long for the inquest to be heard. Now the important thing is for the inquest to answer the very big questions:
Why did the fire spread when the building’s design is for fires to be contained in flats?
Why, when the fire did spread, did the emergency services’ instructions remain to tell people to stay in their homes rather than trying to get out of the block?
If those people who lost their lives had left their homes, would they have lived?
Are the faults that allowed the fire in Lakanal to spread the same for Marie Curie House?