Independent fire crew to review Royal Clarence report

Ben Fox
Ben Fox

A third-party review of the Royal Clarence Hotel fire report is to be conducted by The West Midlands Fire Service.

Exeter’s Royal Clarence Hotel was destroyed in a fire in October 2016. The review comes after a former Fire
Officer accused officials of covering up the handling of the incident. Devon and Somerset Fire Service denies any wrongdoing and says it hopes the review will
reassure the public.

Former Fire Officer David Jones entered the building around a dozen times during the blaze and believes that the loss of England’s oldest hotel was preventable. He was shocked to see that his account of the event was completely left out of the official report.

David Jones is not the only person to question the report’s findings. A Former Fire Safety Consultant Alan Cox has also stated that the report failed to cover some important areas. Alan, who has decades of fire safety experience wrote in an article: “Whilst at first sight this report looks like an interesting report, when you read it in detail it soon becomes apparent that many key issues are not covered.”

In an article titled “Report into Royal Clarence Hotel fire is full of holes – this is what’s missing’, Alan Cox analysed the official report, using his expertise to study the text, section by section.

The article concluded: “I think that this report does
not provide an accurate picture of events before the
fire because there are no submissions from other stakeholders involved including the HSE, Building Control, Insurers, Architects, Contractors, Historic England and witnesses. All of these people/organisations have an
important role in this type of investigation and unless their contributions are included it is unlikely that we
will benefit from this report.”

Local Life