Combustible cladding on London's Grenfell Tower key to deadly fire: inquiry
Criminal probe into deadly highrise fire ongoing
Thomson Reuters · Posted: Oct 30, 2019 7:51 AM ET
Having broken out late at night in a fourth-floor flat because of an electrical fault in a refrigerator, the fire spread to the outside of the building and raced up its facade, which had been fitted with a type of aluminum composite material cladding during a refurbishment completed in 2016.
Within 17 minutes of the first call to emergency services by the tenant of the flat, the fire had reached the 22nd floor, and six minutes after that it had reached the roof. From there, it engulfed the whole tower, reducing it to a charred ruin by morning.
Moore-Bick said there was compelling evidence the external walls did not comply with building regulations. The cladding and accompanying insulation material were combustible, and there were vertical cavities that acted as chimneys for the fire to rise.
"They (the external walls) did not adequately resist the spread of fire having regard to the height, use and position of the building. On the contrary, they actively promoted it," he wrote.
He did not apportion blame for the decision to use the materials in the refurbishment, but said the issue would be at the heart of the second phase of his inquiry, which is already under way and is expected to last about two years.
"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"
-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail