People attending the Grenfell Inquiry were evacuated when a fire alarm sounded today (July 3).
A tannoy announcement at about 12:30pm said that a fire had been reported and urged those at the inquiry to assemble outside Holborn Bars.
A fire warden then reported that it had been a false alarm and the hearing continued from 2pm.
During the day’s evidence, the inquiry heard that senior fire officers wanted to abandon the policy of telling residents to “stay put” as the inferno engulfed the high-rise.
Senior fire safety officer Daniel Egan, who arrived at 1:58am, said his first thoughts were that “we needed to get everybody out”.
The advice to “stay put” was not abandoned until 2:47 that morning, he added as he described “unbelievable” screaming.
In a written statement, Mr Egan said he arrived at the tower to find firefighters lined up waiting to go inside “like Roman centurions”.
Mr Egan wrote: “The reason LFB advice is to ‘stay put’ is because the building should have been compartmentalised. If this had worked, each flat should have been safe for at least an hour. However, the control room giving the advice couldn't see the fire."
He said that he was not in a position to overrule the “stay put” advice but he told more senior officer Tom Goodall, who was group manager, that he thought they should tell people on the phone to get out if they could.
“I believe GM Tom Goodall agreed with me,” Mr Egan added. He went on to say he that he said the same thing to a station manager over the radio and spoke to an officer in the control room.
“One of these conversations was with an officer from Stratford. He wanted to know if the stay-put policy was in place.
“I told him that I personally thought it should change but I said that I did not have the authority to change the advice.”