Council welcomes release of London Fire Brigade Wennington fire report

Mick Ferris
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Havering Council has welcomed the release of the report by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) ahead of the one year anniversary of the fire that devastated parts of Wennington.

Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, said: “As we approach the first anniversary of the devastating fire in Wennington I am pleased to see the long-awaited publication of this report from LFB.

“The fire caused massive disruption to residents in Wennington. We continue to be there to help the people and families affected to rebuild their lives and I hope the publication of this report will serve as some form of closure after what has been an immensely difficult year.

“Whilst the report does not provide a definite conclusion on the cause of the fire, one thing we can conclude from the findings and guidance is that fire safety is everyone’s responsibility. As we enter the summer months and the likelihood of higher temperatures it is up to us all to take measures to prevent this type of horrific incident from happening again.

“As a council, we are working with the LFB on fire prevention across the borough and will continue to speak with private owners to encourage grass cutting and, where possible, firebreaks are installed on private land.

“Across the borough, we are moving ahead with our grass cutting programme for our green spaces and grass verges; taking action to prevent potential risks. We are also regularly updating our residents on general fire prevention advice, such as disposable BBQs, the correct disposal of waste and cigarettes and the risks and common causes of grass fires.

“We are also committed to working together with our partners to lobby Government and the Greater London Authority (GLA) for further support to help prevent this type of disaster in the future.”

For the London Fire Bridage, Interim Borough Commander for Havering, Neil Guyett, said: “Last summer, Havering experienced a number of significant fires and our thoughts remain with those impacted by the devastating fire in Wennington.

“Following the fires last summer, we have been working hard to prepare for what could be another summer of extreme weather temperatures. We know last summer was not a one-off – climate change will continue to give rise to more extreme weather events.

Firefighters have been receiving enhanced wildfire training, and this week we introduced new Holey Hoses which we can use to help protect life and property when a significant grass fire or wildfire breaks out.

“We have already tackled numerous grass fires in the borough this summer, such as at Hornchurch Country Park, and we need the public to help us. It is so important that people dispose of litter and smoking materials properly when they visit parks and open spaces by ensuring rubbish is placed securely inside a bin or take it home with you. If you have had a cigarette, please make sure that it is completely out. Any spark can ignite a fire especially if the ground is dry.

“Never take a disposable BBQ either – they are officially banned in Havering’s parks and open spaces and we would urge visitors to respect this ban.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk