GRENFELL firefighters were betrayed by their superiors and the system over “stay put” fire-safety advice, Rukayetu Mamudu, who escaped the tower, said today.
Ms Mamudu, 70, was among the first to flee the Grenfell Tower blaze with her 12-year-old grandson Tyrshondre in the early hours of June 14 last year.
Alarmed residents were told to stay in their flats by the London Fire Brigade, following the then standard advice for outbreaks of fire in high-rise blocks. The policy was abandoned later that night as the inferno raged out of control.
Speaking as the anniversary of the tragedy approaches, she said that firefighters were “let down by the system” and should not feel guilty.
She said: “You cannot now advise people: ‘Go back and stay in your flat,’ because you don’t know what the building is made of.
“People were trusting the firefighters’ words [to stay put]. And the firefighters relied on the system.
“The system should never have deceived them. The system let them down.
“They are coming out to do their daily jobs without knowing they had been betrayed.”
Ms Mamudu added: “The question I keep asking is: Who certified that building habitable? How did they get to a conclusion that people could live in a house without sprinklers, no fire alarm, no fire escape?”
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is donating all funds raised in June through its Firefighters 100 lottery to charities and projects working to support Grenfell survivors.
Scotland Yard is opening an investigation into the use of the “stay put” policy at Grenfell.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “Grenfell firefighters were dealing with an unprecedented situation that nobody had prepared for and that they should never have had to face.
“Every decision made during that time will come under scrutiny in the inquiry. We will not prejudge.
“But this should not be allowed to divert attention from the real cause of the level of destruction, which is that the fire safety measures within the building were utterly inadequate and completely failed.
“A key factor in this is that the government and local council gave priority to saving money over protecting people.”
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