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Southwark Council responds to Lakanal inquest recommendations

Six people died in the fire at Lakanal House in 2009. Credit: Carl Court/PA Wire

Southwark Council has set out its planned responses to the recommendations from a coroner following the inquests into the fatal Lakanal House fire in 2009. The council was given 56 days to respond to the coroner's letter which was sent following the inquest in March.

The council said it had already carried out progress on many of the recommendations including setting up a specialised fire safety team. However, it also said that some of the proposals have legal obstacles and the council is writing to the Government to see if rule changes can be made.

At the moment, the council is not allowed to inspect leaseholder properties without the owner's permission. It also wants to look at the feasibility of installing expensive sprinkler systems.

The council's cabinet will consider whether to approve the report today.

London's Fire Commissioner says lessons have been learned from Lakanal House blaze

The London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson has said the Fire Brigade has improved its systems following the inquest into the Lakanal House fire. Six people died in the blaze in 2009.

One of the problems which was highlighted was that staff who answered 999 calls from residents did not have accurate information on the state of the fire. Nina Hossain spoke to Ron Dobson.

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Lakanal House inquest: full report

Six people died when a tower block in Camberwell went up in flames in 2009.

Today, an inquest was told that lives could have been saved that day at Lakanal House.

The Jury found that Southwark Council had 'numerous opportunities' to carry out fire safety checks inside the building.

The London fire brigade was also criticised for the advice they gave to those trapped inside the flats, and for being 'unfamiliar' with the layout of the block.Paul Brand and Ronke Phillips have our two reports.

Victims should have been able to get out

The jury found that Catherine Hickman should have been told to get out. It could have been possible for her to save herself - she could have been able to get out if told to.

They said that London Fire Brigade failed to prioritise her rescue, and confusion over the layout of the building prevented firefighters from getting to her quickly.

The jury said that Dayana Francisquini also should have been able to get out of the building but she didn't know about the escape balconies. Despite numerous phone calls, London Fire Brigade failed to prioritise directing rescue teams to her flat. She died of fire fumes with her two children.

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Southwark Council missed opportunities to check safety

The fire at Lakanal House Credit: Nigel Saunders

Dayana Francisquini, 26, and her children, six-year-old Thais, and Felipe, three, were among the victims of the fire at Lakanal House in Camberwell, south east London, in July 2009.

Helen Udoaka, 34, her three-week-old daughter Michelle and 31-year-old Catherine Hickman were also killed.

They all lived on the 11th floor.

The jury was asked to give a written narrative detailing its conclusions in each case.

The jury found that Lakanal House had inadequate fire protection to prevent the fire spreading from one flat to the next - Southwark Council and its contractors missed opportunities to check fire safety.

A lack of fire resistance around flat doors and around stairs led to the failure of compartmentation of up to 60 minutes. Fire risk assessment might have highlighted these failures and bought firefighters more time to save lives.

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