Britain

Fire breaks out at factory owned by maker of Grenfell Tower’s cladding

Joe Roberts for Metro.co.uk

Fire breaks out at factory owned by maker of Grenfell Tower's cladding
It is suspected the cladding contributed to the catastrophic fire at Grenfell Tower (Picture: EPA)

A factory owned by the maker of cladding panels on the Grenfell Tower has caught fire.

Crews were scrambled to the Arconic plant in Exeter, Devon, just before 1.30am today.

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Arconic, formely known as Alcoa, made a component in the cladding used on the west London tower.

It is suspected the cladding helped fuel the catastrophic fire which claimed at least 80 lives in June.

The US firm has various factories across the UK and produces precision components for the aerospace industry at its Exeter factory.

Fire breaks out at factory owned by maker of Grenfell Tower's cladding
Eight fire engines were sent to the Arconic plant in Exeter early this morning (Picture: SWNS)

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS) was called to reports of a fire at the production plant in Kestral Way.

The fire service said: ‘Due to the potential serious nature of this incident and knowledge of the type of building involved, fire control made the decision to redirect fire appliances from other lower priority incidents in the area to ensure fire service resources were in attendance as soon as possible.’

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Within an hour the fire had spread to part of the factory’s roof, but firefighters managed to bring the blaze under control before 3am.

Eight fire engines were sent to tackle the blaze, which started accidentally and left no injuries, the fire service said.

A DSFRS spokesman added: ‘At 02:44am the incident commander reported that the fire was believed to be out, and at 02:50am it was confirmed that the fire had been extinguished.

Fire breaks out at factory owned by maker of Grenfell Tower's cladding
Shares of Arconic tumbled after the tragedy (Picture: SWNS)

‘Approximately 10m x 20m of the furnace area was damaged by fire and 40m x 40m damaged by smoke.

‘There were no casualties and duty of care will shortly be left with on-site personnel.’

Shares of Arconic tumbled in June after it said it would stop producing the cladding for tower blocks after the tragedy.

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