Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Grenfell Inquiry: water pressure 'insufficient to contain flames'

A watch manager described the "soul-destroying" moment he realised water pressure was insufficient to contain the flames on the outside of Grenfell Tower.

Stuart Beale, a watch manager at Soho fire station with 22 years' experience, was in charge of the area on the east side of the tower.

He began briefing the crew operating an aerial ladder platform which was prevented from getting too close to the high-rise by falling flaming debris and trees.

In a written statement to the inquiry, he said:

As we were not able to get close enough to rescue anyone from their window, I just wanted to get water on the building to restrict the fire's movement and save as many lives as we could.

Once in position it soon became apparent that the ALP did not have the required water pressure needed.

I did not know exactly why the pressure was that low but it could have been for a number of reasons and there was nothing I could do at that time about the mains water pressure. This was completely soul-destroying for me because I could see the fire continuing to spread and engulf more and more flats where people had been at the windows.

– Stuart Beale, watch manager at Soho fire station