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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Why the Tower was an inferno

While the rest of this country is focusing on who the shooter voted for and what the victim voted for, I have been looking at the other big news story that you aren't paying attention to- the fire in Grenfell Tower in England.  You can look up the deaths and stuff yourself.  I want to talk about what happened.

First. this is a building wherein the residents are told their flats are fireproofed, so that you "could completely burn out a flat, and the other flats on the floor wouldn't be affected."  In fact, they honest to God tell residents to stay in their flats if another flat catches fire.  Never mind that they had complaints as late as 2013 that fire extinguishers hadn't been checked in a YEAR, that the recent remodeling did not (and was not REQUIRED to) add a sprinkler system, and residents complained about the lack of access emergency vehicles has to the building.

Second, after a similar fire a few years back in which more people were killed and the owners were given a huge fine for negligence, the main fire safety organization turned over to the pertinent government bureau- which was then headed by PM Theresa May's current right hand man- that a report was needed, going through fire regulations, which hadn't been revisited since 2003, to see what needed to be updated as a result.  They are still waiting on that report, and the only word from the responsible government agency is "we are not sitting on a report."

So next, I look at the building plan- six apartments per floor nestled around a central stairwell system.  "Ah-ha, thought I, that may well explain why the fire climbed 20 stories in next to no time."

But I was wrong, the culprit was OUTSIDE.

In the renovations last year, one of the big features was a complete exterior re-cladding, which was tied into the circulation systems and the brand new energy-efficient windows.  This cladding was an aluminum composite filled with polyurethane spray-foam.

When "expertly fitted, and the insulation is fully encapsulated", the fire safety board says that it is perfectly safe.

The installing contractor said he didn't know what the insulation was made from, but he followed all applicable regulations.

Now let me take you back to that monstrous fire in that Dubai skyscraper a while back.  That fire shot up the cladding as well, and it was a brand new building.  Grenfell Tower was built 43 years ago.


How well do YOU think it got installed?  How well do you imagine it COULD be installed?

What energy efficient window do YOU see holding back that inferno?  Those people were told to stay put in the center of a big fricking match.  And why did they turn it into a match?

From the proposal for the renovations:

Due to its height the tower is visible from the adjacent Avondale Conservation
Area to the south and the Ladbroke Conservation Area to the east. The changes
to the existing tower will improve its appearance especially when viewed from
the surrounding area. Therefore views into and out of the conservation areas
will be improved by the proposals in accordance with 'saved' policy CD63 of the

"We want to make it pretty to it's neighbors."

Nice job.

1 comment:

  1. Chris:
    That was a damn fine lesson you gave on how NOT to do things the right way.
    (which is just what the developers did)
    I learned a LOT just from reading this.
    Didn't think the tower was THAT old, but that explains much.
    And my main question is:
    Who inspects the inspectors in England?
    Seems they could use some oversight in such matters, because there were so many things done in such a wonderfully incompetent manner, from the lack of proper extinguishers to the stupid-ass "safety" sign.
    Amazing stuff.
    Goes to show they we ARE indeed our worst enemy.

    Excellent post.

    Stay safe (and fire-resistant) up there, brother.