Grenfell Tower fire in London

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenfell_Tower_fire
The Grenfell Tower fire is a large fire that started shortly before 1 a.m. on 14 June 2017 at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower apartment block in North Kensington, West London. It is being attended to by at least 200 firefighters and 45 fire appliances, but the fire has not been contained. It was reported that people may have been trapped in the fire.[3] The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, declared the fire a "major incident".[2]
...
The fire broke out early in the morning; the London Fire Brigade were first called to the fire at 1:16 am. The fire stretched from the second floor and spread upward.[1] A team of 200 firefighters on 40 fire engines are attempting to control the blaze and rescue people. At 4:14 am, officials from the Metropolitan Police addressed the large crowd of onlookers and urgently instructed them to tell anyone they know who is trapped in the building—if they are able to reach them via phone or social media—to tell them they must try to self-evacuate and not wait for the fire brigade.[9] According to witnesses, there were people trapped inside, waving from windows for help. There were also eyewitness reports that some people were jumping out.[2]

By sunrise, the firefighters were still battling the fire and trying to spray areas where people were seen trapped inside. A large crowd had gathered to watch, but they were pushed back away from the building because of falling debris. After 5 am, the building was still burning and severely damaged; there were fears it could collapse.[9][2].
Content from External Source
No reports of casualties yet, but it looks very worrisome.

Already the conspiracysphere is moving in. All tower fires elicit jokes from 9/11 Truthers, and there are people quite to label it as probably terrorist attack. However the early signs point to a possible situation like the Plasco building fire in Iran, and the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland - long standing problems with building safety and management. Pointed at by the Grenfell Action Group blog.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/grenfell-tower-from-bad-to-worse/
It is very clear at this stage that the electrical supply to Grenfell Tower has been in a very dangerous condition for several weeks. It is equally clear that the authorities had been repeatedly warned of this but had failed to react with sufficient urgency and had failed to take adequate remedial measures.
Content from External Source
This post in particular, labled as Nov 20, 2016, seems unusually clear in its predictions

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/kctmo-playing-with-fire/
It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders. We believe that the KCTMO are an evil, unprincipled, mini-mafia who have no business to be charged with the responsibility of looking after the every day management of large scale social housing estates and that their sordid collusion with the RBKC Council is a recipe for a future major disaster.
...
There are not and never have been any instructions posted in the Grenfell Tower noticeboard or on individual floor as to how residents should act in event of a fire. Anyone who witnessed the recent tower block fire at Shepherds Court, in nearby Shepherd’s Bush, will know that the advice to remain in our properties would have led to certain fatalities and we are calling on our landlord to re-consider the advice that they have so badly circulated.
...
The Grenfell Action Group predict that it won’t be long before the words of this blog come back to haunt the KCTMO management and we will do everything in our power to ensure that those in authority know how long and how appallingly our landlord has ignored their responsibility to ensure the heath and safety of their tenants and leaseholders. They can’t say that they haven’t been warned!
Content from External Source
So clear in fact, that I'd have some suspicion that it was fake. I've been unable to find evidence that the "kctmo-playing-with-fire" page actually existed before Jun 14 (London date/time). Google's cache of the page is current.
https://webcache.googleusercontent....playing-with-fire/+&cd=13&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us (http://archive.is/AbGc7)

But are there older records? [Edit: yes]
 
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Leifer

Senior Member.
More realistic reports from eyewitnesses, claim that the fire quickly spread from the decorative plastic facade...and up the side(s) of the building.
This can be seen in the early stages of the fire. In this particular video, the camera occasionally changes it's exposure setting, and you can get a clearer look at the areas on fire (without the fire "glare" @ 00:43).
Plus all the melting and falling facade debris.
 
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CeruleanBlu

Senior Member.
But are there older records?

I did a view source on the page, took the photo (grenfellactiongroup.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/fire.jpg?w=240) and searched Google for the specific file name. The photo and the "Playing With Fire" quote shows in at least two previous caches, one on May 17, 2017 19:15:12 GMT:

https://webcache.googleusercontent....dpress.com/page/5/+&cd=13&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

And again Jun 10, 2017 23:20:06 GMT:

https://webcache.googleusercontent....dpress.com/page/6/+&cd=14&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
There are a couple of interesting comments in The Architects Journal
Geoff Wilkinson, the AJ’s building regulations columnist
It’s very early and we should avoid speculating, but we in light of Lakanal House we have to ask questions about the refurbishment.

I hear reports of a recent fire at Trellick Tower which was contained correctly by compartmentation. Yet this fire clearly overcame that compartmentation very quickly and questions have to be asked why.

Another report spoke of recent works to the gas riser - if this was leaking then that would certainly help to explain the speed and ferocity.

No doubt sprinklers will be mentioned again but if the cladding or the gas rider were at fault then they would have little effect.

I have seen extracts of a fire risk assessment and talk of combustible material stored in the common walkways which suggests poor overall management.
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Owen Luder, former RIBA* president
Firstly this is a disaster - as is the case with most disasters - that should not have happened. I’ve designed multistorey residential blocks - both private and council - and I live in a converted residential block with 168 flats when in London. This has designed-in fire precaution and means of escape measures as well as self-closing four-hour fire resistant doors.

The fire alarm system, that should be throughout at Grenfell Tower, should have given immediate warning of a fire in any individual flat. If that worked there would have been ample time for everyone to safely evacuate the building.

That clearly did not seem to happen. Having been in a fire disaster, although on a ship, I know the first sign of smoke or a fire you get out into the open air as quickly as you can.

From what can be seen from the TV the fire started low down - some said the second floor, others the fourth floor - but it appears from a corner flat and the fire then spread rapidly as you would expect upwards and spread horizontally across all upper floors.The reports indicate it spread at great speed until the whole block [was engulfed] apart from a small number on the lower floors which appear to be still largely intact.

The key investigation will be how the fire which started in one flat (as that appears to be the case) spread so rapidly upwards without adequately warning the resident in their beds and enabling them to escape in safety.

It appears that the 1970s block was very recently renovated. That appears to have included new windows and cladding. There is always the risk, and there have been cases in the past, that the design of the replacement windows and the cladding did not provide the necessary fire checks to prevent fire spreading externally from one flat to the one above. However the nature of this fire from what I have seen on TV that does not appear to be the case. Although I wouldn’t rule it out.

As for the stability of the block this is unlikely to be affected by this fire - intense and hot as it was - as the structure is almost a reinforced concrete frame with a central concrete lift shaft which should have remained. In the case of New York’s Twin Towers the main structure was steel and the heat generated by the explosion of aviation fuel created heat at such a level that the steel structure on the floors where the planes hit, bent and the top floors above collapsed which then caused the blocks to completely collapse.
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(* The Royal Institute of British Architects)

So the structure apparently has a reinforced concrete frame, not steel, so 9-11 parallels don't match up. Also suspicion is already falling on the newly fitted external cladding in the spread of the fire as seen in a number of recent high rise fires such as the 2015 'The Address' fire in Dubai.

It also appears that the buildings managers Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, who manger the property on behalf of the local authority has a troubled history going back to at least 2009
http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/new-kensington-chelsea-tmo-boss-6007382
In the past two years, the organisation has been shook to its core after residents forced two Extraordinary General Meetings in a bid to reshape its management and improve performance.

Last month, former chief executive Helen Evans resigned early due to 'serious disquiet' within the elected board.
Content from External Source
http://www.swlondoner.co.uk/furious...nd-chelsea-washing-hands-of-slave-labour-pay/
It is one of the country’s wealthiest areas, but Kensington and Chelsea cleaners are protesting against their low salaries and vowing strike action if they are not given the London Living Wage.

The cleaners are employed by OCS, a multi-national services company on behalf of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO).

They are paid just £7.18 an hour, although the recommended London Living Wage (LLW) is £8.55.

One cleaner, Jamaican Christopher Rodney, said: “The wage is horrendous. It is like slave labour. It means I can’t really afford to pay rent.”

Last week, the cleaners unanimously rejected a pay rise of 2.5% over two years.

They work eight hours per day, six days a week, mainly in the borough’s council housing buildings, such as Trellick Tower, a grade II listed building.
Content from External Source
I'm watching the BBC reports now.

Latest reports from the London Fire Brigade say there is no danger of collapse, but the fire is still not under control and live pictures still show fire on multiple upper floors.

The local authority is saying there were 'around 360 to 400' residents in the building and many are unaccounted for.
 

Graham2001

Active Member
I was pointed to a discussion on the discussion board called Skyscraper City about the type of aluminum composite cladding that was used in the buildings refurbishment, apparently it is not fire retardant, and may have been responsible for the spread of the fire around the outside of the building.

The thread itself started after the Marina Torch fire in Dubai.


In light of the recent Marina Torch fire in Dubai today. I have noticed the fires have spread up the building facade. Are modern skyscrappers meeting fire codes.

In particular with aluminum composite cladding on buildings. Should there be a moratorium on aluminum composite construction. Should all existing aluminum composite buildings have the facades removed and replaced with a fire-resistant cladding. There have been so many documented cases reminiscent of these two similar towers.
Content from External Source
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1801571

Sadly many of the articles the thread links to are behind paywalls. One that was not was published by the Australian The Age Newspaper:

The rapid spread of a fire through a Docklands apartment tower was caused in part by combustible construction materials, a review has found, sparking an investigation into building practices and paving the way for an expensive class action.
Content from External Source
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/d...buildings-walls-says-mfb-20150427-1mukhx.html

Edit: Further to the above, is this report into a series of building fires in China where the exterior cladding spread the fire rapidly.

http://www.stoparsonuk.org/documents/resources/Fire Safety of Exterior Wall Claddings.pdf

It will be interesting to see what the fire investigation determines.
 
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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
So clear in fact, that I'd have some suspicion that it was fake. I've been unable to find evidence that the "kctmo-playing-with-fire" page actually existed before Jun 14 (London date/time). Google's cache of the page is current.
https://webcache.googleusercontent....playing-with-fire/+&cd=13&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us (http://archive.is/AbGc7)

But are there older records?

I see no reason to suggest it could be fake. The GAG has posted on this topic several times, as can be seen from the archives at the Wayback Machine. Just one example:

https://web.archive.org/web/2016030...s.com/2013/02/21/another-fire-safety-scandal/


And the specific "Playing With Fire" entry you mention is there on the index of the archive captured on May 21:

upload_2017-6-14_11-58-39.png

https://web.archive.org/web/20170521031058/https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/


It's a horrible incident: the fire started before 1am and there was still a thick plume of smoke rising as I arrived into London at 10am today. Knowing what living conditions are like in such blocks I fear the death toll could be into the dozens, if not triple figures. I hope I am wrong about that, but overcrowding and unofficial subletting are a fact of life in these places, so there may well have been more people in there than the official figures suggest. :(
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I see no reason to suggest it could be fake. The GAG has posted on this topic several times, as can be seen from the archives at the Wayback Machine. Just one example:

Thanks. I looked last night, but did not find the actual posts. There was only sporadic coverage on the Wayback machine, likely because it was a small blog that get very little traffic. The posts just struck me as unusually prescient.

I suppose that's some kind of fallacy on my part though. Building that burn catastrophically like this and the others I mentioned are going to be amongst the worst of the worst in terms of fire safety. Because of this it's quite likely that there would have been advance warnings, often years in advance.

It's sad that it takes major incidents to prompt changes in safety practices and building construction. It's probably unavoidable to some degree though.
 

TEEJ

Senior Member.
Tower resident Mahad Egal gave an interview on Sky News here in the UK. It appears to have been a fridge fire in apartment 16 on the fourth flour. Egal was woken by his neighbour claiming that his apartment was on fire due to an exploding fridge.


Avoiding Fridge Freezer Fires
Instances of fridge freezers causing fires in people’s homes and workplaces are prolific. So much so that fridge freezers are the most common white goods item to be involved in a fire.

The cause of a fire is nearly always the same. Failure of an electric switch, controlling the defrost / freeze function results in a small fire developing at the base on the back of the item. This quickly ignites the insulation materials around it (often polystyrene and plastic based). The refrigerant gas may then become involved. In fridge/freezers over 3 years old the refrigerant gas is Pentane, which is both a flammable and explosive gas. In newer domestic models, the refrigerant gas is most likely to be Propane, again a flammable and explosive gas.

Propane is now beginning to be used in commercial designated models. A common indicator that a unit may be at risk from a fire is the malfunction of the defrost and freeze facilities. This will present itself in the unit constantly freezing up or being unable to maintain a freezing temperature.

Statistically Beko models have been the most frequently subject to defect and resultant fires.

A number of recent incidents involving units have resulted in serious, life threatening explosions, whilst a number of fires have resulted in people dying from exposure to fire or smoke. It is essential that everyone is aware of the fire hazards in their home or workplace. For the workplace, our fire awareness training includes a section on the most common causes of fires. Many such causes are preventable and detectable with regular fire risk assessments which can either be carried out by trained members of your staff or by our experts at UK Fire Training.

Content from External Source
From

http://www.ukfiretraining.com/news/fridge-freezer-fires.html

Beko as mentioned in the article have the following on their website.

It has come to our attention that in a very small number of incidents, involving certain models of Beko branded frost free fridge freezers, it may be possible for the defrost timer (located at the back of the fridge) to fail, overheat and cause a potential fire hazard.

These products were independently tested before being placed on the market and met all UK and European safety standards when the products were sold. Nevertheless, as a responsible manufacturer which takes the safety of our products very seriously, we wish to make a free in-home modification to remove any potential risk with this component.
Content from External Source
From

https://refsafety.beko.co.uk/

Mahad Egal gave an other interview to Sky News where he recounted the neighbour and fridge fire. Video at following link.

http://news.sky.com/video/fire-started-after-neighbours-fridge-exploded-10915536


Several eyewitnesses described hearing a distressed resident from Grenfell Tower, near White City, telling neighbours his fridge had caused the blaze at the block of flats.

Local resident Abdul Ramaz: "owner said it was his fridge':

Samira Lamrani, 38, who lives on nearby Hurstway Walk, said: "When I arrived on the scene he (the resident) was amongst the people that were standing there.

"He was just beside himself. He was just as surprised at how quickly the fire spread as anybody else.

"I could hear him saying that he contacted the emergency services immediately and they reassured him everything would be under control within a short period of time, and obviously it wasn't."
Content from External Source
From

https://stv.tv/news/uk/1391206-did-a-faulty-fridge-cause-london-fatal-tower-block-fire/
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
In fridge/freezers over 3 years old the refrigerant gas is Pentane, which is both a flammable and explosive gas. In newer domestic models, the refrigerant gas is most likely to be Propane, again a flammable and explosive gas.
This is an unfortunate consequence of the environmental regulations banning CFCs. Fridges used to use Freon, a CFC which is totally non-flammable (indeed its only permitted use these days is in fire extinguishing systems!).
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
Tower resident Mahad Egal gave an interview on Sky News here in the UK. It appears to have been a fridge fire in apartment 16 on the fourth flour. Egal was woken by his neighbour claiming that his apartment was on fire due to an exploding fridge.
Not good, but it should not have spread beyond the flat where the fire started and up the building. I live in a high rise and in the 20 years I've lived here we have had three fires. In all cases the fire was contained to the flat where the fire broke out and apart from some minor smoke damage, and water damage in the flats below (due to the activities of the fire fighters) other flats have not been effected. This is because most high rises in the UK are built using a Compartmentation system (explained in detail here). In theory this means a fire should be contained to one flat for a minimum of 60 minutes, which is normally ample time for fire fighters to arrive and bring the blaze under control.

However in the case of the Grenfell Tower it appears the whole block went up in less than 30 minutes. Once again, as in a number of other recent high rise fires, it appears that the spread was up the outside of the building via the external cladding. This type of fire spread has been a concern for a few years now, a quick google of 'aluminium cladding fire risk' throws up a number of articles expressing concern from the general media and the business, technical and construction communities dating back to at least 2014. (example), and going by the latest interviews of fire fighters and investigators on the BBC today it appear that the newly fitted cladding is going to be a major point of focus for the investigation.

There are other points of concern as well. If reports of the buildings fire alarm system being either faulty or not working are true, then this another point of concern, as are the fact that the fire spreading up the building exterior could then enter other flats, presumably via the windows. (If they are anything like the windows in my place, cheap plastic frames installed for cheapness rather than quality)

I only hope that some good comes fro this tragedy and steps are taken to make sure this never happens again.

And finally I am very moved at the response of not only the emergency services, but the reaction of the British people. Folks of every faith, creed and class from all over the UK have responded to help. A strong testimony to the true spirit of humanity in a time of crisis.
 

Graham2001

Active Member
I have located a transcript of an Australian current affairs show episode (The 7:30 Report, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)), this relates to the Lacrosse Docklands fire that I posted details of earlier and claims that the same cladding (Alcuobest) was used on a large number of buildings in Australia.

It is stated in the transcript that Alcuobest cladding took around a minute (55 seconds to be specific.) to catch fire when it was tested by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) following the Lacrosse Docklands fire. It of course remains to be proved just what type of cladding was used on the building.

Thirteen floors of a Melbourne building went up in flames within 15 minutes thanks to cheap cladding covering the building that doesn't meet Australian standards, and it's potentially been used on thousands of buildings in Australia.
Content from External Source
http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2015/s4243787.htm

The segment of the program that the above transcript covers was placed on YouTube by Fire Protection Australia. The testing of the cladding by the CSIRO is mentioned at 1:53 - 2:12 and is immediately followed by an animation of the fire spread created by the Melbourne Fire Brigade, this animation finishes at 2:27 in the linked video.


I have located two official reports into the Lacrosse Docklands Fire, the first is from the City of Melbourne (Victoria) and outlines the cause of the fire (A cigarettte butt) and contributing factors (Residents using balconies as storage spaces.) But did not include details of the CSIRO testing, it is still worthwhile to look at for the insight it provides into the issues relating to high rise fires.

http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/sitecollectiondocuments/mbs-report-lacrosse-fire.pdf

I have also found the Post Incident report for that fire, which was prepared by the Melbourne Fire Brigade, this gives details of the CSIRO testing and shows that the cladding was so flammable they had to abandon testing due to concerns that the test equipment would be damaged. The CSIRO report is included in this document as well as a number of related reports.

http://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.ashx?id=12c47f94-8150-4e65-be34-0f6adfdc32c1&subId=400319
 
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David Fraser

Senior Member.
I have seen a couple of FB posts in my feed that have drawn comparisons straight to the WTC. Thankfully these were shot down in flames immediately (no pun intended). There is a great deal of anger felt over this and rightly so. I dont want to get on my Socialist high horse, especially since we don't know the full details, but there is suspicion of cost and corner cutting for the building. Given it was social housing and Kensington is the richest borough in the country I am not surprised over the anger.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
There is a great deal of anger felt over this and rightly so. I dont want to get on my Socialist high horse, especially since we don't know the full details, but there is suspicion of cost and corner cutting for the building. Given it was social housing and Kensington is the richest borough in the country I am not surprised over the anger.
Agreed, I saw the locals storming the local council offices this afternoon, and a couple of protests kicking off in other areas. I can understand why. I live on an estate of high rises and there are lot of worries people here as well. We've been told that our newly fitted cladding is the rock fibre fire resistant stuff, but the local housing people are holding a meeting of tenants next week to answer questions.
 

derwoodii

Senior Member.
In Melbourne OZ the discovery of the flammable cladding has unearthed a blame game between regulators, building designers, fire insurance owners and others as they found the $$ cost to retro fit out the such large amount of flammable cladding is beyond economic practical. If fire starts and weather condition right ( sadly as in London ) the exterior walls will burn..


http://www.smh.com.au/national/lond...ed-in-flammable-cladding-20170615-gwrpfu.html

Australian buildings are cloaked in "millions of square metres" of flammable cladding, and authorities have been aware of the safety threat since at least 2010.
Content from External Source

1506cladding729px.png
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The Grozny City fire in Chechnya was also the result of flammable cladding.


However in that case the fire was largely limited to the exterior of the building. There's a discussion of that incident here:
https://www.metabunk.org/debunked-wtc7-vs-chechnyas-tallest-building-fire-grozny-city-complex.t1804/

This thread on Skyscraper City contains many more examples:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=121824260

Quite an amazing number of cases. Perhaps the thing that has prevented more action being taken to stop these panels is that the fires all happened in different countries, and so only received local consideration. People in the UK paid no attention to what was found in Australia two years ago:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/bus...s/news-story/22bf66af43cd0c52c91063d8b4b34535

Cheaply imported aluminium cladding from Melbourne’s fire-damaged Lacrosse tower was so flammable CSIRO scientists had to abandon combustibility tests after only 93 seconds to avoid damaging their equipment.

A CSIRO report obtained by The Australian reveals that the sub-standard Alucobest cladding — suspected of also having been used in thousands of buildings nationwide and linked with fires in large buildings around the world — sustained extensive “flaming” after 55 seconds and had to be extinguished after 93 seconds because of “excessive flaming and smoking”.

“The single sample failed the sustained flaming clause in the first minute of the test,” said the report by the CSIRO group leader of fire safety engineering Alex Webb. “The test was terminated soon after, and prior to (the required) 30 minutes, to prevent damage to our equipment.”

The tests, commissioned and financed by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and carried out on April 1, concluded the Alucobest cladding from the Lacrosse tower — co-developed by publisher and developer Morrie Schwartz — was combustible and failed Australian combustibility requirements that cladding have “zero” sustained flaming.
Content from External Source
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
Anecdotally I recall an interview with a fire safety officer who said an issue could have been that the cladding was set away from the wall which caused it to act as a chimney for the flames. He was steadfast in his belief that the advice given to residents to stay in their homes as the fire should have been compartmentalised was the best at the time.
 

Graham2001

Active Member
Anecdotally I recall an interview with a fire safety officer who said an issue could have been that the cladding was set away from the wall which caused it to act as a chimney for the flames. He was steadfast in his belief that the advice given to residents to stay in their homes as the fire should have been compartmentalised was the best at the time.

Exactly, I saw the same on a BBC news report. I tried searching on YouTube but could not find the exact report I had seen, but I did notice a lot of agit-prop/conspiracy channels are moving in the direction of 'cover up', 'social cleansing', 'deliberately lit' claims.

I can understand where all of said claims may be coming from, especially the last one, when I heard it was an exploding fridge, my first reaction was incredulity, but given the reports of electrical issues in the building it does not seem that much of a surprise.
 

TEEJ

Senior Member.
Grenfell Tower: Fire started in Hotpoint fridge freezer, say police
Content from External Source
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40380584

Anyone who has a white Hotpoint fridge freezer model number FF175BP or graphite fridge freezer model number FF175BG should register their appliance with the manufacturer to receive any updates.

Generally, the model number is found on a bar code on a sticker behind the salad container in the fridge.
These models were discontinued in 2009, but 64,000 were sold between March 2006 and July 2009. It is not known how many are still in use. Owners should ring 0800 316 3826 or visit the Hotpoint website.
Content from External Source
https://www.hotpointservice.co.uk/fridgefreezer

upload_2017-6-23_13-3-14.png
 

Graham2001

Active Member
The Torch apartment tower in Dubai that suffered a cladding fire in 2015 has suffered another such fire, this article from The Mirror is typical of the coverage to date:


A massive fire has ripped through a skyscraper in Dubai Marina this evening sending flames and burning debris tumbling from the sky.

Terrifying footage shows the fire quickly engulf the city's 1,105ft tall Torch tower as the blaze shoots up the side of the building in the United Arab Emirates.

...

Dubai Media Office confirmed the building had been 'successfully evacuated' but did not comment on whether there were any casualties.

The tower, which is one of the tallest residential buildings in the world, was also hit by a fire in 2015.
Content from External Source
http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world...bris-rain-from-the-sky/ar-AApnVHt?li=AAgfYrCC
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
here's an recent test with the aluminum cladding used at the grenfell tower. i'm at work, so i couldn't read it all. at the first glance it seems like the acm cladding doesn't meet any official fire retardent regulations. however, the photos doesn't show the same torching effect like seen in north kensington, or do they?

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...DCLGtest1_BS_8414_Part_1_test_report_v2.2.pdf
Just skimmed through it. It appears to be testing the combustibility of the panels, rather than spread of fire. The test was terminated after 300 seconds or so, (and the wind speed in the test at 2mps was lower than on the day of the disaster). I'm no expert but I suspect the test was to examine ignition and initial spread rather than full combustion.
 

Graham2001

Active Member
I found this video of a Las Vegas hotel fire from 2008, in this case firefighters managed to get the blaze under control, the coverage of the fire is in the first 12 minutes or so of the video, what is clear from the footage is that the external foam decoration/cladding spread the fire quite rapidly, and that the firefighters took personal risks to get it under control. The weather report that forms part of the video points out that had the winds been stronger then the fire might have taken much longer to get under control than the hour or so that it did.

 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The Greenfell tower comes up occasionally as a tower that "should" have fallen. So a comparison with WTC7 might be useful. Here's the Greenfell layout.


upload_2017-10-24_14-35-31.png

Here's a construction photo:


The main load bearing supports are steel reinforced concrete columns.

The building is approximately square, and 22.5m (74 feet) to a side. So here it is to scale with WTC7 and One Meridian Plaza.

20171024-145056-4dtyz.jpg

Would the central core of the Greenfell tower also count as a supporting column though? The other two building you get a good sense of the structure of beams and girders connecting to the columns. But in Greenfell is it just the exterior columns and then concret walls and slabs inside? What other than the exterior columns is load bearing?
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
Would the central core of the Greenfell tower also count as a supporting column though? The other two building you get a good sense of the structure of beams and girders connecting to the columns. But in Greenfell is it just the exterior columns and then concret walls and slabs inside? What other than the exterior columns is load bearing?
Most, if not all UK council high rises are reinforced concrete beam construction. and although the details differ from area to area (depending what council architect designed building) they all follow the same construction method/ The central core, with the lift shafts, stairwells and utility cores provide a solid central support and the outer columns, also steel reinforced concrete, do the rest. Whats more because they are designed as fire cells to stop the spread of fire internally. (which didnt help in the case of Grenfell as the fire spread externally via the cladding) The interior walls are also very often reinforced concrete and these also help brace the structure internally.

The result is pretty strong and stable structures that are often described as 'a bugger the bring down' by demolition crews.
 
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