Dubai tower block fire draws Grenfell comparison

A large fire swept through the residential Torch Tower in Dubai overnight, with firefighters working to save the 79-storey building.

This is the second time in two years that the Torch Tower has caught fire. In 2015, a similar fire ripped through the building, with extensive cooling processes required to stop the tower from collapsing.

However, despite concerns over the safety of the building’s exterior cladding, neither fire claimed a single life, with all residents quickly evacuated.

This sits in stark contrast with the fire that consumed most of the Grenfell Tower block in west London in June. The Metropolitan Police determined that the fire had been started by a faulty fridge-freezer, and spread quickly due to the building’s exterior cladding.

Despite being four times smaller than Dubai’s Torch Tower, the fire at Grenfell Tower claimed more than 80 lives, with the death count expected to rise.

The cause of the Dubai fire is not currently known, but flammable cladding was determined to be the cause of the 2015 fire at the site, says the BBC Today Programme.

Fire safety experts say similar cladding used on Grenfell Tower is the most likely reason why the blaze spread so quickly, and that the cladding was would have released 14 times more heat than a key government test allows.

The New York Times reports that “cladding has contributed to at least three other skyscraper fires in recent years in Dubai”.— Hilda (@dhuyanik) August 3, 2017



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