Building Construction, Codes & Standards, Structural Firefighting

Lessons Learned from the Grenfell Tower Fire

Issue 4 and Volume 171.

By Jim Gaut On June 14, 2017, a fire occurred in Grenfell Tower, a London apartment building, that killed 71 people. The fire started at 1:00 a.m. (BST) and within 30 minutes consumed the exterior wall of 20 out of 24 floors. The fire spread over the highly combustible material used to insulate the exterior wall. It then extended through acrylic plastic windows and quickly spread throughout the building, making it impossible for many occupants to escape. Grenfell Tower Grenfell Tower was designed in 1967, and construction was completed in 1974. The building was constructed using concrete. It had a flat roof and concrete stairs with plaster-covered walls.1 One side of the building was accessible by roadway; the remaining three sides had gardens at ground level, which were not vehicle accessible. The tower was comprised of 24 floors; 21 floors were residential (129 apartments, six per floor), and the other…

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