A REVIEW of fire safety and evacuation procedures is to be carried out in all of Edinburgh’s housing blocks following a major London blaze in which at least 12 people have died.
More than 60 people were taken to hospital for treatment after a fire broke out at Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road shortly before 1am on Wednesday morning.
Forty fire engines and more than 200 firefighters attended the blaze in west London, with the Metropolitan Police later confirming that at least 12 people had died as a result of the inferno.
The city council has now pledged to review fire safety procedures in the Capital’s apartment blocks, which comprise approximately 4000 households across the city.
A spokesman said they were “deeply saddened” by yesterday’s tragic events in London, adding: “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.
“Understandably the events in London this morning have caused concern and some distress and our local housing teams have been on hand today to provide reassurance and advice to tenants living in city tower blocks.
“Regular inspections are carried out by the Fire Service and housing concierge teams and the council’s health and safety team regularly audits multi-storey services.
“However, as a further precaution, we will be carrying out a review of fire safety and evacuation procedures in all of our housing blocks.
“Of course it may be some time before investigations into the cause of the London fire pinpoint exactly what happened.
“The council will work closely with the Fire Service to ensure that the results of those investigations are included in our review of safety in city tower blocks.”
It is understood that in addition to evacuation procedures, the safety review’s scope will also include how to prevent the outbreak and spread of fires.
Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Wednesday night that a major investigation would take place into the Grenfell Tower blaze after it emerged residents had raised safety fears over the building last year.
With scores in hospital and an unknown number missing, the death toll is expected to rise following the inferno. The tower was believed to have housed up to 600 residents.
Mrs May vowed that there would be a “proper investigation”, adding: “If there are any lessons to be learned they will be, and action will be taken.”
On Wednesday, some bodies were recovered from the smouldering remains of the tower block, which contains 120 flats thought to be home to between 400 and 600 people. Many people are still unaccounted for and firefighters were continuing to tackle “pockets of fire” in the block.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the operation had moved from rescue to the “recovery phase”, as emergency crews search for bodies among the charred wreckage.
Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police said: “I can confirm that there are now 12 people that have died that we know of. This is going to be a long and complex recovery operation and I do anticipate that the number of fatalities will sadly increase beyond those 12.”
London Fire Brigade said it had rescued 65 people. Steve Apter, director of safety and assurance at London Fire Brigade, said firefighters had battled through “particularly arduous conditions” to reach the top floor.