Page last updated at 16:40 GMT, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 17:40 UK

'Urgent' report ordered into fire

Forensic experts at Lakanal House
Three women and three children died in the fire

The government wants urgent answers over the cause of the tower block fire in south-east London which killed six people, the House of Commons has heard.

A three-week-old baby was among those who died in the fire at Lakanal House, Camberwell, on Friday.

Communities Secretary John Denham has asked the government's chief fire and rescue adviser to "report back to me urgently" as conclusions emerge.

Forensic experts and fire officials are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Three women and three children died in the fire which is thought to have started in a flat on the ninth floor of the 12-storey block.

Several residents described the layout of the block, which only had one central staircase, as "a maze".

'Terrible tragedy'

Mr Denham said: "I'm sure the House will wish to join me in offering sympathies to all those affected and, in particular, in offering condolences to those who have lost loved ones."

He added that it would "be wrong to draw premature conclusions" while investigations continue.

Liberal Democrat spokeswoman Julia Goldsworthy said: "I'm sure we all want to make sure that such a terrible tragedy cannot be repeated again in any of our social housing estates."

On Monday London Mayor Boris Johnson described the fatal fire as "very disturbing" and said it raised "big safety questions".

London Assembly member Jenny Jones called for a public inquiry into the fire to ascertain whether 1960s tower blocks were "genuinely safe".



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