Four days after the fire, the Metropolitan Police released a series of pictures from inside the blackened and gutted tower, in an effort to show people how difficult it will be to locate and identify the dead. On Monday 10 July, Commander Stuart Cundy said: “You can’t listen to the accounts of the survivors, the families, and those that lost loved ones, and listen to the 999 calls, like our investigation has done, and not want to hold people to account for a fire that should not have happened.”
The week that was: 10 July – 16 July
During the fourth full week after the Grenfell Tower fire, the Met announced that the starting point of their criminal investigation is that the fire was manslaughter of at least 80 people; it was revealed that building control certificates issued for the insulation state that it can only be used together with non-combustible panels when fitted on tall buildings; the names of those who will assist the inquiry‘s chairman were announced; and the consultation period for determining the size and scope of the inquiry was extended to 28 July.
Monday 10 July:
Scotland Yard announced that the starting point of their criminal investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire is that manslaughter caused 80 deaths. Commander Stuart Cundy said: “You can’t listen to the accounts of the survivors, the families, and those that lost loved ones, and listen to the 999 calls, like our investigation has done, and not want to hold people to account for a fire that should not have happened.” There has been no equivalent criminal investigation in modern British criminal history, so international expertise is being sought.
Scotland Yard also stated that they thought 350 people were in the tower when fire ripped through it last month. They said 255 people had survived and another 14 residents were not in their flats at the time of the blaze. They believe the number of dead will stay at about 80 despite suggestions from some independent experts that the toll could be more than 100.
Wednesday 12 July:
The incoming leader for the council, Elizabeth Campbell, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. She refused to apologise for the council’s decisions before the fire, stating that the public inquiry will apportion blame for that. But she repeated her apology for the way the council dealt with the aftermath.
The Grenfell Tower inquiry announced that the consultation period on its terms of reference will be extended by two weeks, to 28 July. The inquiry also announced the names of those who will assist the inquiry‘s chairman, Sir Martin Moore-Bick. These are: Richard Millett QC, an expert in complex commercial disputes; Bernard Richmond QC, a criminal defence barrister; Kate Grange QC, whose expertise is in commercial, construction, public and inquiry law; Caroline Featherstone, who will be the inquiry’s official solicitor; and Mark Fisher, a cabinet office civil servant who has been appointed secretary to the inquiry.
Thursday 13 July:
It was revealed that two different kinds of flammable insulation was installed on Grenfell Tower in 2014, Celotex RS5000 and Kooltherm K15. Certificates issued by the building inspectors’ organisation, Local Authority Building Control (LABC), states that these products are only acceptable for use on tall buildings if used with non-combustible fibre cement panels. In spite of this, the intended fibre cement panels on Grenfell Tower were switched for combustible polyethylene filled panels in order to save money, while the flammable insulation was kept. Celotex RS5000 is made from polyisocyanurate, which burns when exposed to heat and gives off toxic cyanide fumes, and Kooltherm K15 is a phenolic product which “do not meet the limited combustibility requirements” of building regulations guidance, according to its LABC certificate.
In the evening there was another meeting in the area with 200 residents, where DCI Matt Bonner, who leads the police investigation, struggled to reassure them that he will bring those responsible to justice, and where the new council leader, Elizabeth Campbell, repeated her apology for the council’s “completely inadequate” response to the fire. Angry residents called for the police to make some arrests and for Campbell to resign.
Friday 14 July:
The press got hold of newsletters from the landlord and the contractor, distributed to the residents between April 2014 and May 2016, where there were repeated assurances that the cladding used was safe and had been approved by a building control officer from the council.
Saturday 15 July:
There were growing concerns that dozens of councils across the country have been stripping polyethylene-filled aluminium panels from buildings, following the Grenfell Tower fire, and thereby exposing the insulation which can be more prone to catch fire without the panels.
Sunday 16 July:
On BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell stood by his remark at the Glastonbury festival, that the Grenfell Tower disaster was “social murder”. Pressed on the use of the word murder, McDonnell replied: “There’s a long history in this country of the concept of social murder, where decisions are made with no regard to consequences, and as a result people have suffered. I believe social murder has occurred in this incidence and I believe people should be accountable.”