Grenfell Timeline: The first 35 minutes

The Grenfell Inquiry Phase 1 Report divides the timeline of what happened into 11 time periods, with each one covering the spread of fire, events on the incident ground, conditions in the tower and the movement of occupants, events in the control room and the actions of the MPS,  LAS (London Ambulance Service), RBKC and the TMO.

The attached PDF consolidates key events into a single timeline. I did this as research for something I’m writing and thought some may be interested, it’s rough and not highly edited. I’m sure there are better ways ot display it, if anyone wants to, let me know…

All of this is taken from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 Report:  Part 2 pages 79 – 201.  

Errors are all mine. 

At the outset let me reiterate that I in no way blame the firefighters on the night.


There are no words…

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  1. Thanks for sharing this. What a tragic night. There have to be ways to prevent something like this happening again, if only through better training for fire fighter commanders and clearer advice to those at risk given different possible scenarios in a high rise – even the Apollo missions had escape routes for the astronauts from the launch tower back in the 1960s! The whole question of why the fire spread so rapidly is another issue …

  2. Thanks Gill, a really helpful summary. I hope lessons are learned but whether they will be the right ones remains to be seen. The problem is often the conversations that are not had for various reasons. It may be time to consider not just improving ‘what is’, but to use evidence, human centred design (including timelines) and a focus on outcomes rather than inputs (such as the misleading response times) to consider ‘what could be’.

    Whilst accepting there would be much to consider, the fact that the public are so often excluded from official policy and thinking is possibly one of the biggest obstacles. It appears to see them as a problem rather than potentially part of the solution – part of the ‘Stay Put’ policy justification is that the public might get in the way of responders. The public are the reason public services exist and a great asset. If we aren’t prepared to have different conversations we really shouldn’t be surprised if we get more of the same. History suggests that may be the case unless we seize the opportunity to learn and be curious rather than be defensive. It always come back to the human factors.

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