Fire experts have cautioned against blaming the building design for the spread of a fire that killed six people at a block of flats in Camberwell, south London
The fire broke out in a flat on the 9th floor of Lakanal House last Friday and spread to the 5th and 11th floors.
Nick Troth, an associate director from the fire engineering division of Arup cautioned against a “knee-jerk reaction to the incident”.
He said: “The vast majority of fire disasters aren’t down to the inherent design of the building, but the way the building is operated and managed.”
The block, which had one central staircase, was built in 1959. It underwent a £3m refurbishment in 2007.
Communities secretary John Denham has asked Sir Ken Knight, the government’s chief fire and rescue adviser, to report back to him urgently on any findings from investigations into the blaze.
So far there is disagreement over the cause. Peter Jackman, technical director of fire consultant IFC, questioned whether the building owner had carried out a risk assessment and acted on problems. He said: “The assessor should have seen these hazards and issued a report identifying what action needed to be taken.”