Fire Doors In Block Next To Grenfell Are Flammable, LBC Investigation Finds

27 September 2017, 07:23

An LBC investigation has found the fire doors in the tower block next to Grenfell are flammable.

Chartered Surveyor Arnold Tarling, who contributed to the report on the Lakanal Tower Fire, inspected the building with our reporter Rachael Venables.

They found a series of problems, including insecure rubbish chutes running all the way up the building; fire escapes with doors so heavy and stiff, they were inaccessible to disabled people; and fire doors that are flammable.

The fire instructions in the building next to Grenfell Tower
The fire instructions in the building next to Grenfell Tower. Picture: PA / LBC

Arnold said the door, which has been there for three years or more, was made of "PVC Architrave, which burns incredibly well, followed by expanding foam, which doesn't work and is not even fire rated.

"It's sickens me, because the doors should be installed by people who know what they are doing. It should be properly finished off with a mastic which expands in a fire, and doesn't burn. It shouldn't be finished off with a flammable plastic and a foam that doesn't work. It's completely wrong."

Michelle lives in the flat with her daughter. She allowed us to inspect the flat, and was visibly shaken and upset when we showed her the gaps in the fire door she thought was safe.

The gap in the fire door that makes the building unsafe
The gap in the fire door that makes the building unsafe. Picture: LBC

She recently had a stroke and struggles to use the heavy doors into the stairwell which she would need access in the event of a fire. She was the one of first people to call 999 when the Grenfell fire started, and says this news is terrifying.

She said: "People are at risk if there was another fire here, that it's supposed to protect you but it's not... it's quite shocking to see.

"I'm quite shocked, knowing that is above your head, so every time you walk through your door you know it's there."

LBC is waiting for a response from the council and TMO.

Our investigation comes as councillors accuse the Tenant Management Organisation which ran Grenfell Tower and thousands of other properties in the area of failing to hand over crucial fire safety documents.

Labour's leader Robert Atkinson also says the assessments the TMO have provided are "woefully inadequate and inaccurate."

At a council meeting tonight, they'll be debating sending in investigators to every single properly in the borough - to carry out urgent safety checks.