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Jury retires in inquest of Catherine Hickman killed in tower block fire in Camberwell, London
12:31pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in News
The jury in the inquest into the deaths of three women - including one from Hampshire - and three children who died in a tower block blaze has retired to consider its verdict.
Dayana Francisquini, 26, and her children, six-year-old Thais, and Filipe, three, were among the six victims of the fire at Lakanal House in Camberwell, south east London, in July 2009.
Helen Udoaka, 34, her three-week old daughter Michelle and 31-year old Catherine Hickman, from Romsey, were also killed. They all lived on the 11th floor.
The jury retired to consider verdicts yesterday afternoon after hearing evidence for more than two months at Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton, south London.
In her summing up on Wednesday, Assistant Deputy Coroner Frances Kirkham said evidence suggested that the firefighters from incident command who dealt with the blaze did not have any knowledge of the building layout, did not know they were dealing with maisonettes and did not know about escape balconies on the block.
''The evidence suggests that the incident commanders didn't learn about these matters, or, for example, that flat numbering and floor numbering was confusing, from the crews who had been in the building and were exiting, or indeed from information which might have been available from those who were standing round,'' she said.
''There was little evidence that firefighters who might have gathered information about signs in the building and where floors were, that that had been passed on to incident commanders.''
She added: ''It's a matter for you, members of the jury, but you may conclude that the evidence suggests a lack of training amongst staff in relation to fire survival guidance calls prior to the incident that we're dealing with. That's lack of training for control centre staff.''