Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Grenfell fire 'would have been tackled more quickly' with wet fire main

The Grenfell Tower fire would have been tackled more quickly in its flat of origin if the block had a wet fire main, an inquiry has heard.

Michael Dowden, the watch manager from North Kensington station who was the first fire incident commander on the night, said the building's dry riser slowed the response.

A dry main requires fire crews to pump water from their engine into a hollow pipe running through the building, allowing them to screw in hoses at points on each floor.

A pressurised wet riser already has water within the building, shaving off valuable seconds when crews respond to a fire in a high-rise block.

All buildings over 50 metres in height should have wet risers, according to building regulations, but 67-metre Grenfell Tower did not.

Mr Dowden was giving evidence for a third day at the inquiry into the disaster.

Asked what difference a wet main would have made when fire crews responded to the fourth-floor kitchen fire on June 14 2017, the officer told a hearing at Holborn Bars: "If we didn't need to augment water supplies into that building, then yes, the speed of our entry into that compartment would have been quicker."

He added that the risers on the upper floors of Grenfell Tower - above 50 metres - would have suffered from "significantly reduced" water pressure.