A fire at Grenfell Tower before it was refurbished caused no injuries, board papers from the block’s managers have revealed.
In April 2010, a fire in a lift lobby set off a block-wide fire alarm and a smoke extraction system expelled smoke from the building, six years before the smoke extraction system was replaced.
At the time, Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) advised that a communal fire alarm was maintained continuously. Eyewitnesses to this week’s blaze at Grenfell Tower, however, which at the time of writing had left 70 people unaccounted for and 30 dead, said they heard no fire alarms.
Grenfell Tower was refurbished in 2015-16, with the work including, according to the contractors Rydon, the installation of a new smoke extraction and ventilation system, as well as the addition of external cladding and a new heating system.
The refurbishment was completed in the summer of 2016, but the most recent Fire Risk Assessment was in December 2015, according to information obtained by Inside Housing under the Freedom of Information Act.
The addition of the new heating system, according to documents from the application for planning permission, also involved the temporary removal of fire stopping between the floors.
Rydon Maintenance has insisted that the refurbishment “met all required building regulations – as well as fire regulation and health & safety standards – and handover took place when the completion notice was issued by Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea building control”.
KCTMO could not be reached for comment.