A firefighter with London Fire Brigade wants to set the record straight.
After the horrific Grenfell Tower disaster, the firefighter hosted a Reddit ‘ask me’ session in an effort to answer questions surrounding the horrific blaze — especially responding to signs inside the Tower advised residents to “stay put” in the event of a fire.
Sadly the fire took hold of the entire building, leaving many unable to escape.
The firefighter, who wasn’t on duty during the deadly inferno, placed a thread on Reddit entitled, ‘I’m a serving London firefighter. If you have any questions, ask away.’
He opened his thread asking people to engage so he could clear up any misconception.
“Events over recent days have put my profession under the spotlight,” he writes. “I’ve seen a lot of incorrect statements on these pages or questions being answered incorrectly.”
The Mirror UK reports one Reddit user asked the question a lot of people are wanting answered — pointing out that residents were told to “stay put” in the event of a fire — even when they called emergency services.
“Have you ever advised people to stay inside a burning building? When is this ever good advice? What happens when emergency services can’t reach a person? Are they supposed to try to save themselves somehow or accept death?”
The firefighter explained ‘staying put’ is normally the best course of action, but points out Grenfell Tower presented a unique set of circumstances.
“In a block of flats, there is usually a stairwell that runs the height of the building, if there is a fire on the 5th floor for example, as soon as we open the front door to tackle the fire, the lobby, and the stairwell will fill with smoke and unburnt fire gases throughout the height of the building above the 5th floor,” he writes.
He continues, “If you were living on floors above the fire you would have to be breathing in this smoke and toxic fumes whilst making your way down. Your best choice is to stay in your flat, cover the edges of doors with blankets and let the fire brigade know that you are in your property.
“What appears to have happened yesterday (June 14) is completely unique. Staying in your flat is 99.9 percent of the time the safest thing to do. If you are in a house, then getting out of the property is a lot more feasible.”
According to the Mirror UK, the firefighter also wrote, “If there is a fire below you definitely stay put, close all doors between you and any source of fire and smoke and notify the fire brigade of your location and follow their advice.
“Grenfell Tower was a unique set of circumstances by the looks of it, and staying put has saved many, many lives in the past.”
Not all users on the thread agree with the firefighter with one person questioning with the firefighter’s expertise and suggesting staying put wasn’t the right thing to do.
“Staying put sounds mad to me. If I ever live in a high rise, I’m buying a respirator so I can get the f*** out when I feel in danger.”
The firefighter replied, “A respirator won’t compensate for the lack of oxygen in the air or the heat, or the increase in carbon monoxide and dioxide.
“Staying put is the safest thing, it has worked in the past, this was a set of circumstances not ever seen before.”
The Mirror UK reports officials expect the death toll to rise.
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