Senior government figures had to explain why calls to amend the building regulations to clarify fire safety risk went unheeded
In 2009, a small fire broke out inside the 14-storey Lakanal House in south London. The flames spread outside to the residential block’s combustible cladding panels, which then ignited with a speed and ferocity that left firefighters puzzled. The resulting blaze killed six people, including three children. At the time it was the UK’s worst fire in a tower block.
Nearly eight years later, this disaster was dwarfed by the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017. Just as at Lakanal House, a small internal fire catastrophically escalated when it spread to the building’s combustible cladding – except at Grenfell it engulfed almost the entire 24-storey building and killed 72 people.
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