The London Fire Brigade has suggested the composition of the cladding was not behind the ‘rapid’ spread of fire at a five-storey Travelodge in Brentford
Travelodge London Kew Bridge was designed by Assael Architecture and given planning permission in 2001, although the practice was not the delivery architect when the scheme was built the following year.
About 100 firefighters and 15 fire engines were called to the blaze at the hotel yesterday morning (4 December).
There were no reports of injury. Approximately 160 staff guests and staff were evacuated from the building.
Graham Ellis, an assistant commissioner at the London Fire Brigade (LFB), said when firefighters arrived they were ‘faced with a rapidly developing fire’.
‘A single-storey bin room on the ground floor of a neighbouring building was alight and the fire had already spread to an adjacent hotel of five floors,’ he added.
One onlooker told The Guardian that smoke was coming from the cladding, adding: ‘The fire crews had the hoses in that cladded area for ages […] The fire was quite big; the flames were 20m high. It really went up quickly.’
But a spokesperson for the LFB later said: ‘The early indications are that it was not cladding-related.’ A full investigation into the fire is ongoing.
Travelodge said it could not name the builder nor delivery architect for the hotel ‘due to data protection rules’.
The Brentford fire came less than 24 hours after Grenfell United wrote to the prime minister warning that more people would burn in their homes unless action is taken to replace combustible cladding on tower blocks.
‘We write to raise our deep and grave concerns that a Grenfell-like fire is going to occur again. There have been eight residential fires since Grenfell, each more serious than the last,’ the letter said.
Other serious fires include those at Bolton, Barking and Worcester Park in Sutton.
‘It is our conviction that a serious fire in the UK, leading to a loss of life, will occur in a building wrapped in combustible material unless you act,’ Grenfell United added.
‘The Grenfell Inquiry Phase 1 Report published in October evidenced beyond doubt that the combustible materials on Grenfell promoted the spread of fire. These and other combustible materials are still on buildings up and down the country.’