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Why does mankind so often fail to learn from disaster? In June 1994 a fire in a Tanzanian school killed forty-three children and a request was made to the British government that a senior fire officer be sent out to investigate the cause of the blaze and the lessons which could be learned. To Colin Mardell’s disgust his report was shelved and nothing ever changed as a consequence of his work. Such fires continue unnecessarily to kill children and families not just in Africa but around the world wherever poverty and ignorance are rife. Thus sadly Mardell’s account is still of considerable relevance nearly thirty years later.
Colin Mardell Joined the London Fire Brigade two months after his eighteenth birthday and served for more than thirty years before being forced to retire due to poor health. During his career he served predominantly across North West London in a number of capacities. He retired in 1997 as a Divisional Officer in a headquarters role with specific responsibility for the Brigade’s fire Investigation units. Married with two children and three grandchildren, he now lives with his wife in South Lincolnshire.