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Sun July 12 2020

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Grenfell contractors and suppliers make inquiry statements

27 Jan Phase 2 of the official Grenfell Tower Inquiry starts today with opening statements from those who commissioned, designed, built and supplied materials for the refurbishment project that has been blamed for the rapid spread of the inferno.

While Phase 1 of the inquiry was all about finding out exactly what happened on the night of 14th June 2017 in west London that caused the death of 72 people, Phase 2 seeks to find out why it happened.

Rydon Maintenance, Harley Facades and Studio E Architects each get 90 minutes (60 for Harley) to set their side of the story as to why and how the high-rise social housing tower block was covered in a cut-price cladding system that acted as an accelerator when the fire broke out.

Tomorrow (Tuesday 28th January) the materials suppliers Exova, Arconic and Celotex get their say, along with CEP Architectural Facades and subcontractor Osborne Berry.

Later in the week, representatives of the project client, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, make their opening statements. Then it is the turn of the London Fire Brigade and the Fire Brigades Union.

To date, the inquiry has received more than 757,300 documents to consider.

Phase 1 of the inquiry, last year, established what took place at Grenfell Tower on the night of the fire. This included the cause and origin of the fire, its subsequent development, the loss of life incurred and the response of the London Fire Brigade and other emergency services.

Phase 2 of the inquiry will examine the circumstances and causes of the disaster, including how Grenfell Tower came to be in a condition which allowed the fire to spread in the way identified in Phase 1. It is expected to run until June 2021, in accordance with the following timetable.

Module Topic Month
Module 1 The primary refurbishment - overview and cladding Approximately February to April 2020 (including Easter break)
Module 2 Cladding products – testing/certification, product marketing Approximately May to June 2020
Module 3 Complaints and communication with residents; management of Grenfell Tower, compliance with Fire Safety Order 2005; fire risk assessment; active and passive fire safety measures internal to building Approximately July to October 2020 (including summer break)
Module 4 Aftermath of the fire Approximately October to November 2020
Module 5 Firefighting Approximately December 2020 to February 2021
Module 6 Government Approximately February to May 2021 (including Easter break)
Module 7 Further evidence from expert witnesses Approximately May to June 2021

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