Firefighters have been giving evidence to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. As the inquiry now prepares to begin hearing from the families of the victims, hear are five key things we've learned so far. Many of the firefighters who fought the Grenfell Tower inferno believed they were going to die. In an age where serious fires have become rarer, this was a disaster way beyond their daily experience. Yet they responded with true heroism.
The sight of a 24-storey tower block in west London engulfed in flames has shocked the UK. Fire services around the world have to deal with blazes in high-rise blocks, so what lessons have been learned? Firefighters arriving at the scene of a high-rise fire would normally set up a base about two floors below the actual fire, says Bob Parkin, an ex-firefighter turned safety consultant. This allows them to set up entry control points, so firefighters going to fight the blaze can be recorded, and crucially, have their breathing apparatus checked so it's clear how much time they can spend in a dangerous, smoke-filled area. The amount of time each person can spend fighting the fire is limited by the amount of air available - so any minutes spent climbing up into a building with equipment is precious fire-fighting time wasted.
The pictures paint Los Angeles as a hellscape, a land of glowing red fire-fronts racing across hills, whipped along by screaming winds. Plumes of dense gray smoke fill the skies. As of Friday afternoon, Southern California was battling blazes in Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Diego counties, which had destroyed more than 500 structures, and forced over 200,000 people to flee.
AR and thermal imaging in the Qwake C-Thru mask could help firefighters better navigate burning buildings. With smoke, flames and a claustrophobic mask on, running into a burning building is a leap of faith. Firefighters are taught never to leave the wall, because they could become disoriented, run out of air and die. "The way we used to look for people was almost as if you were blind," said Harold Schapelhouman, fire chief of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. That could change with technology like Qwake's C-Thru.
The jetpack forces water at high pressure through the firefighters' boots, propelling them up into the air and allowing them to reach tall bridges The government's media office has released a dramatic training video of a firefighter racing through the city's canal on the Dolphin. He then takes to the air and with a hose over his shoulder manages to put out a pickup truck fire. As part of the Dolphin plan, they also intend to create floating fire stations to tackle blazes from the water. The government's media office has released a dramatic training video of a firefighter racing through the city's canal on the Dolphin