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Flammable Material in Grenfell Tower Also Used in U.S. Buildings

July 5, 2017 · FLEMING | NOLEN | JEZ, L.L.P.

On June 14, 2017, the deadliest fire in England in over 100 years claimed the lives of at least 80 people.

Lethal Cladding Manufactured in America

Grenfell Tower was renovated in 2016 with new cladding called Reynobond PE. Reynobond PE was produced by the American manufacturing company Alcoa, later renamed Arconic in 2016.

Reynobond PE consisted of two sheets of aluminum that sandwich a combustible polyethylene core. The empty space between the building fabric and aluminum panels created a chimney effect which allowed fire to quickly move up the side of a building. In a more typical fire, the flames move from the inside out. However, the Grenfell Tower fire burned in the opposite direction, starting from the building’s exterior and moving in.

The flammable material was fitted to Grenfell Tower despite information contained in a 2016 brochure from Arconic stating that Reynobond PE panels are only suitable for buildings up to 32 feet in height due to the fire hazard. Grenfell Tower stands at 220 feet.

Could it Happen Here?

There has been a renewed interest in fire safety which has also sparked concerns as a result of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. The United States is not immune to similar disasters. Even though American building codes have banned flammable cladding in high-rises for nearly 20 years, there are numerous buildings throughout the United States that have been fitted with the same flammable material used on Grenfell Tower. In fact, it was only after the Grenfell Tower fire that Arconic issued a statement claiming they would no longer supply Reynobond PE for high-rise buildings.

Contact Fleming | Nolen | Jez, L.L.P.

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Fleming | Nolen | Jez, L.L.P. recommend that buildings fitted with Arconic’s Reynobond PE cladding be immediately removed to prevent a similar tragedy from happening here at home. If you or someone you know lives or works in a building fitted with combustible Reynobond PE, contact our firm today for an evaluation of your case at no charge.

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