On the night of 13/14 June 2017, a rapidly spreading fire burned down the Grenfell Tower in London, killing at least 79 people.
This was reportedly caused by a single refrigerator.
When fire fighters were leaving the building after they had put out the initial fridge fire at Grenfell Tower, they were shocked to see flames rising up the side of the building when they came outside.
This will add weight to claims that it was the cladding on the exterior of Grenfell Tower that caused the fire to spread so rapidly.
According to, spokesman for the firemen, Dave Green:
Clearly it was a hot night and if the (fire) was fairly close to an open window then potentially the flames could have got outside - if there were net curtains, something like that, it could have got up.
Then the cladding might well have been smouldering.
As a firefighter you wouldn't have thought to look outside. We would assume that the outside of the building would not be compromised.
Before this fire, letters had been sent to ministers to warn about the fire risks for people living in high rise blocks such as Grenfell Tower.
There are an estimated 4,000 older tower blocks in the UK, without automatic sprinkler protection.
This looks like this tragedy will be used as an argument to demolish and renovate “older” buildings…
But on the other hand, a December 2015 letter by the all-party group, to former Conservative minister James Wharton, warned about the risk of fires spreading on the outside of buildings of “today’s buildings”: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06 ... ing-flats/
Today's buildings have a much higher content of readily-available combustible material. Examples are timber and polystyrene mixes in structure, cladding and insulation.
This fire hazard results in many fires because adequate recommendations to developers simply do not exist. There is little or no requirement to mitigate external fire spread.
About a year ago, the 10 million pound refurbishment of Grenfell Tower that took “66 weeks”, by Lydon, was finished.
This included the addition of flammable cladding to improve its appearance.
Almost immediately after this disaster, stories appeared that it was the cladding that made the fire uncontrollable: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 89951.html
Here’s a picture of the Grenfell Tower on fire that looks like it was the cladding (or at least something on the outside of the building) that made it uncontrollable.
Here’s a video that amongst others shows people trying to get out of the burning building.
Signs were hanging in the building to advice the residents to “stay put” and “stay in your flat” in case of a fire.
According to the state media, in a large fire at Grenfell in 2010, the advice to “stay in your flat” saved lives.
If residents had evacuated the block at that time (2010) then 500 families fleeing would have created accidents in the stairwells etc, people would have been trampled and fire fighters attending would have been hampered by folks fleeing.
Last Friday evening, the sudden decision was made to evacuate some 4000 residents in more than 800 apartments in Camden (northwest London) from 5 towers with similar flammable cladding and insulation as Grenfell Tower.
The order caused chaos among the residents — many with no idea where they would stay.
In the days before they had been told that it was safe to stay in their houses.
Detective Superintendent McCormack said in a televised statement:
Cladding tiles had also failed initial tests.Preliminary tests on the insulation samples from Grenfell Tower show that they combusted soon after the test started.
Georgia Gould, head of the council that made the decision, said:
Salma Derecho, 36, who lived on the 18th floor of Taplow Tower, one of the evacuated buildings, said officials suddenly knocked on her door at 9:30 PM with directions to pack enough for two to four weeks.I’ve made the really difficult decision of moving the people living there into temporary accommodation. I know it’s going to be difficult, but Grenfell changes everything. I just don’t believe that we can take any risks with our residents’ safety, and I just have to put them first.
According Justin Fuller, a resident of one of the evacuated buildings:
This feels like a sick joke. They are playing with our minds. Yesterday they were telling us our building was safe. Now we have to pack up all our things and our small kids in the middle of the night in a state of emergency?
The Camden Council, the local assembly for that area, encouraged residents to stay with friends and family but promised to provide temporary accommodations. Repairs could take 4 weeks.
Arguably the alternative housing provided, is a bigger health hazard than their apartments…
The nearby Swiss Cottage recreation centre was hastily reconfigured as a temporary sleeping place with mattresses on the floor and the air heavy with chlorine from the swimming pool.
Safety checks are being carried out on cladding from at least 600 high-rise buildings across Britain. At least 11 buildings in the country use combustible cladding material similar to that used on Grenfell Tower.
The appliance that started the fire was a Hotpoint FF175BP refrigerator and freezer. Tests are carried out to determine if this type is a fire hazard: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/23/worl ... ondon.html
According to Camden Council, 83 people have refused to follow the orders to leave their homes on the Chalcots Estate: http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/24/83-reside ... e-6731132/
The following article names 8 possible causes for the Grenfell disaster: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06 ... y-inferno/
1 - Until 1986 all buildings in London fell under the London Building Acts which ensured that external walls must have at least one hour of fire resistance to prevent flames from spreading between flats or entering inside.
But under Margaret Thatcher’s government, those rules were replaced by the National Buildings Regulations and the crucial time stipulation was scrapped.
Instead, materials used on the outside of buildings now only had to meet ‘Class O’ regulations and show that they did not add to the heat or intensity of a fire. But crucially they did not have to be non-combustible.
2 - Arnold Turling said the Grenfell blaze was “entirely avoidable” and that a gap between the panels acted as a ‘wind tunnel’, fanning the flames, and allowing the fire to spread to upper levels.
Mr Turling, a member of the Association of Specialist Fire Protection, said: “Any burning material falls down the gaps and the fire spreads up very rapidly – it acts as its own chimney.”
Reynobond’s fire-resistant panel sells for £24 per square metre; £2 more expensive than the standard version.
3 - After six people died in the Lakanal House fire in south London in 2009, the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group called for a major government review of building regulations.
However, four years on and no review has been completed despite assurances from former housing minister Gavin Barwell, who is now Theresa May’s chief of staff.
4 - Residents in Grenfell Tower made repeated warnings that a single staircase was their only means of escaping the building.
5 - There was no central sprinkler system at Glenfell which members of the Fire Protection Association said would have "undoubtedly" saved lives.
MPs from All-Party Parliamentary Group Fire Safety & Rescue Group also said that MPs had been calling for sprinklers to be fitted on the outside of tall buildings for years, but said their calls been ignored.
6 - London Fire Brigade said claims that doors were not fire-proofed would form part of its ongoing inquiry.
Two separate sources have told The Telegraph that not all the front doors in the tower block were fire-proofed. Official fire brigade advice to stay put in the event of a fire is based on fire doors offering protection to residents told not to leave the building.
Fire doors are designed to stop the fire spreading rapidly through the building rather than being "compartmentalised".
7 - The refurbishment to Grenfell Tower was completed in May 2016 and yet it does not appear that any safety checks were carried out, even though the new cladding work consisted of ‘material change.’ The council did not respond to a request for comment.
8 - Fires on outside of cladded buildings should have been controlled by firebreaks - gaps in the external envelope to prevent the continual burning of material.
Under Building Regulations 1991, developers are warned that they must install systems to prevent flames from leaping from floor to floor.
However the Fire Brigades Union and the Loss Prevention Council and the Buildings Research Establishment have frequently warned that guidance is not adequate in the event of a fire.
According to the following tweet, 99% of the fire breaks were missing in Grenfell Tower: https://twitter.com/larakeller1937/stat ... 4582184963
What’s also interesting is that many people had been complaining about the quality of health and safety in the Grenfell Tower. It’s strange that so much money was spent on the refurbishment, and the residents then complain about the health and safety…
“The Grenfell Action Group” was formed in 2010 to oppose the Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre development opposite Grenfell Tower.
A possible motive for destroying this building was that it housed a strong opposition group…
Here’s their blog: https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/about/
What convinced me this fire was an inside job (and to start this thread)...
Just last March (3 months ago), Kensington and Chelsea Council (the freeholder of Grenfell Tower) changed its insurer – from the Swiss company Zurich to the Norwegian Protector Forsikring.
Besides Kensington, 2 other boroughs — Westminster, and Hammersmith and Fulham Council — also switched from Zurich to Protector Forsikring.
The Times newspaper estimates the insurance pay-out as high as £1 billion ($1.27 billion). The eventual cost depends on the number of deaths, the litigation involved, the cost of demolishing the building and the price of rebuilding the tower.
Possibly the single biggest building insurance payout in European history…
Protector Forsikring’s chief executive Sverre Bjerkeli said the firm expects that its reinsurer will pay “almost the entire cost” for the Grenfell Tower disaster. This is probably the giant German company, Munich Re.
Reinsurance is the process by which insurance companies insure themselves against enormous losses: https://sputniknews.com/europe/20170620 ... ce-payout/