This 60-minute documentary is the dramatic, haunting story of five fires that foretold the Grenfell disaster, told through the eyes of those directly involved. This vivid and moving film for BBC Two collates the memories of survivors, the bereaved, fire-fighters, safety experts and the politicians linked to five intensely fierce fire disasters that preceded Grenfell. This telling collection of interviews and archive footage shows the clear warnings that existed and could have predicted a Grenfell-type inferno happening in Britain.

The programme focuses on three factors: the application of flammable material and cladding to buildings, the 'stay put' advice given by fire services, the absence of sprinklers - and how they contributed to each of the previous five blazes, sometimes with fatal consequences. Made over the course of 12 months, the film tells the story of the legislative history of building regulations from 1973 to the present day through five fires. It explores the causes, subsequent investigations and the recommendations that were sent to successive UK governments, ultimately posing the question: if lessons had been learned as a result of tragic repetition of errors over the decades, could Grenfell have been avoided?

★★★★★ The Times      ★★★★★ Mail on Sunday       

★★★★ Independent      ★★★★ Guardian      ★★★★ Daily Mail    

“Filmed and directed by Jamie Roberts (who made the excellent Manchester: The Night of the Bomb), The Fires That Foretold Grenfell amounted to a shocking litany of measures not taken.

Roberts is most adept at letting the survivors – and victims’ loved ones – tell their stories. The stories here carry the additional weight of subsequent tragedy. The high cost they paid, they had hoped, would at least be invested in the future protection of others. But it was not.” Tim Dowling, The Guardian

“The film gathered a cumulative power, derived from anger as much as distress. The mix of human stories and damning exposé combined in the most appalling fashion when we heard a 999 call (voiced by actors) made by Catherine Hickman, a victim at Lakanal House in south London in 2009.” James Jackson, The Times

“Sober minded but deeply shocking” Mail on Sunday