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Traumatised firefighters who battled Grenfell Tower blaze to receive compensation

Emergency services close to the scene after the fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London (PA)
Emergency services close to the scene after the fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London (PA)

More than 100 firefighters who battled the Grenfell Tower blaze are to receive compensation from Kensington and Chelsea Council.

Senior councillors on Wednesday night agreed to enter into a negotiated out-of-court settlement with 114 firefighters over the 2017 tragedy.

The settlement covers the “vast majority” of firefighters who issued claims against the council over the fire, which killed 72 people.

Four other defendants are involved in the claim, “including those who were involved in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.”

“The agreement is likely to have a positive impact on those involved in allowing claimants to receive personal compensation without having to participate in court proceedings and also mitigates the financial impact on the public purse,” said council chief executive Maxine Holdsworth in a report.

“For a portion of those affected, the agreement will provide compensation for harm and loss which the Council is in part responsible for.”

The Fire Brigades Union has said the blaze "left many firefighters traumatised" as they "worked through the night to rescue people from a fire that should never have been allowed to happen.”

It estimated earlier this year that nearly 6,000 working days were lost since the blaze due to firefighters suffering PTSD.

The London Fire Brigade has also previously said "many" firefighters who attended the scene "required counselling support afterwards".

The terms of the settlement are confidential, with councillors discussing details behind closed doors. It is due to be finalised in the next three weeks, the report states.

Outstanding claims remain for other groups of first responders, including a group of police officers. Negotiations are ongoing in that claim.

A council spokesperson declined to reveal how much the council has earmarked for the payment, or who the other parties involved in the settlement are.

Earlier this year, the civil claims of 900 bereaved family members, survivors and local residents were settled, involving the council and a number of defendants.

The Council’s contribution to that settlement was £54 million, according to its annual accounts, as well as a share of the claimants’ legal costs.

The civil settlements do not affect the potential for any criminal charges to be brought in future.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry held its final hearings in November 2022, and is not due to publish its final report until some time during 2024.

The Metropolitan Police is investigating the Council and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) over the fire.

Any potential criminal prosecutions would follow the publication of the inquiry’s report.