Barking fire: what can we learn?

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The blaze at a Building Regs-compliant, timber-clad residential block prompts searching questions

Just a handful of days before the second anniversary of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire, in which 72 people died, and another small fire at another block of flats in the capital got out of control, tearing across the outside wall of the building, and causing huge damage.

Bellway, the developer of the six-year-old Samuel Garside block of flats in Barking, has said the fire appeared to have been started by a barbecue on one of the scheme’s timber-clad balconies. From videos of the resulting conflagration, it is clear how it quickly spread from balcony to balcony in the six-storey block, the flames evoking painful echoes of Grenfell. Ultimately it destroyed 10 flats, according to local council Barking and Dagenham, and damaged more than 40 more.

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