Factory Owned by Grenfell Cladding Manufacturer Catches Fire

By John Smithies, Epoch Times
November 4, 2017 Updated: November 4, 2017    

A factory owned by the company that produced the cladding panels used on Grenfell Tower has caught fire.

The factory in Exeter, southwest UK, was discovered to be on fire around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, according to Devon Live.

It is owned by the Arconic, formerly known as Alcoa. The U.S. company makes the Reynobond PE panels, which are suspected to be one cause of the fire at Grenfell Tower, west London.

The material has a plastic, flammable core that may have enabled the fire at Grenfell to spread quickly.

The catastrophic fire claimed at least 80 lives on June 14, 2017.

Extensive damage is seen on the Grenfell Tower block which was destroyed in a disastrous fire, in north Kensington, West London, on June 16, 2017. (Reuters/Hannah McKay)

Arconic stopped international sales of Reynobond PE for tall buildings in June, citing “inconsistency of building codes across the world”.

Arconic said in a separate statement in June: “We were not involved in the installation of the system, nor did we have a role in any other aspect of the building’s refurbishment or original design.”

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service sent eight fire engines to fight the blaze, which spread to the roof. Firefighters eventually extinguished it around 3 a.m.

The fire service told the Independent: “Due to the potential serious nature of this incident and knowledge of the type of building involved, fire control made the decision to redirect fire appliances from other lower priority incidents in the area to ensure fire service resources were in attendance as soon as possible.”

No one was injured in the fire.