An aluminum composite material with a polyethylene core is being blamed for the quick spread of a June 2017 fire at a high rise London apartment building that killed at least 79.
The ACM rain screen was the "principle reason" why flames rose up the side of Grenfell Tower, a new report states. The panels' PE core was flammable, and they "acted as a source of fuel," according to a first-stage report on the fire, which was leaked by the United Kingdom's Daily Telegraph newspaper.
The report is to be released Oct. 30.
Grenfell's external walls had been refurbished and an ACM crown added to the building in the months before the building. That work had not met building regulations, according to the report.
Reports by other news organizations, including the BBC, said the report also cited institutional failures within the London Fire Department for the high fatality rate.
The fire started in a faulty refrigerator and flames escaped the initial apartment by burning through a window frame into the space between the building's insulation and the rain screen, then spread quickly.
Since the blaze, survivors and bereaved families have maintained that the building work did not meet building regulations.
London's Metropolitan Police also are conducting a criminal investigation into the events of the night. That report is expected to last for years and may be the largest ever carried out in the United Kingdom.
The official publication of the initial investigation report will mark the end of the first phase of the enquiry.