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Grenfell inquiry sees footage of source of the fire

4:57 pm, 19th June 2018

Footage captured by a body-worn thermal imaging camera was played to the inquiry during a presentation by professor Niamh Nic Daeid, director of the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Dundee.

She explained the origins of the fire and its spread.

Crew manager Batterbee and his colleague firefighter Brown, both from the North Kensington station, are wearing the cameras on 14 June last year.

The footage shows them breaking down the door and entering flat 16 on the fourth floor at about 1.07am – 13 minutes after the first 999 call.

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External footage of the fire, which has been matched to the bodycam by time references and shown on a split screen, shows the viewer what was happening from outside as the flames spread upwards.

Firefighters are seen trying to extinguish the blaze, which is coming from the fridge-freezer in the kitchen.

A temperature reading shows 263C as the firefighters stand in the doorway of the kitchen, trying to put it out.

They spray their water hoses at the fire – which appears as a bright yellow light in the footage – and they close the door.

They re-open the door seconds later to see it is still alight, at which point they decide to discuss the best tactics.

At 1.20am, the firefighters enter the kitchen again and finally extinguish the fire, but the flames had already spread from the kitchen window.

Flat 16 was a two bedroom apartment with a living room and a galley kitchen.

Behailu Kebede lived there with two other people, and was asleep on a mattress in the living room when he was awoken by the smoke alarm.

Mr Kebede looked into the kitchen and saw smoke coming from the back of the fridge-freezer.

He dialled 999 on his phone, woke up the other two residents and also tried to alert his neighbours.

He then turned off the electricity to the flat at the fuse box.

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Professor Nic Daeid says it means the fire must have been established before the power was shut down and it was clear where the appliance was because the floor underneath it had been scorched.

Mr Kebede’s 999 call was played again – he mentions twice the fire is by the fridge-freezer.

The inquiry is ongoing.