13th December 2018
Louis Browne QC has made his closing submissions on Phase One of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry on behalf of the Fire Officers Association and Fire Commander, Richard Welch.
Stating that all firefighters who entered the Tower acted with bravery and with the sole aim of saving the lives of those who were trapped in it, Louis Browne QC again expressed their sincere sympathy to the bereaved, survivors and residents.
Mr Browne QC said that none of the firefighters (including those in command positions) had any knowledge that Grenfell Tower was clad in such highly combustible rainscreen cladding.
Tragically, he added, it was simply never practicable to have been able to achieve a full evacuation of all residents from the Tower.
Mr Browne QC concluded by saying that Fire Commander Richard Welch was correct when, at the conclusion of his evidence, he said:
“I would just like to say to the families that we are very sorry for the amount of people we lost that night. We couldn’t have done any more, we did everything we could. Every one of us that went into that building was willing to lose our own lives to save your loved ones. We didn’t let you down, the building let us all down and I’m sorry for your loss.”
The first phase of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, centred on the night of the fire, has now concluded. The second phase, examining wider issues, is unlikely to start until the end of 2019, chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said this week.
Louis Browne QC is instructed by Burton Copeland. To read his closing submissions in full please click on the link below.