The upper floors of Grenfell Tower after the fire. Photo by Wikipedia
01 Dec 2020

Ex-employee admits fire tests for Grenfell styrofoam panels were fake


According to an article in the British newspaper The Guardian, the company Celotex who supplied the styrofoam cladding to Grenfell Tower,  knew that the insulation panels were not fire safe. 

Cover photo (above) The upper floors of Grenfell Tower after the fire. Photo by Wikipedia

Celotex behaved in a “completely unethical” way, admitted Jonathan Roper, a former assistant product manager.

Jonathan Roper, an ex-assistant product manager at insulation maker Celotex, gave evidence in the British court on Monday November 16. He had been part of the fire tests, and said he had been asked to cover up the results. He admitted Celotex had more or less rigged some of the fire testing the company had performed before stating the styrofoam panels would be safe in a highrise fire. 

"Celotex was ‘dishonest’ in the second test of foam boards after they failed the first one", Roper said according to the article.  

According to a public inquiry, executives who sold combustible insulation for use on Grenfell Tower perpetrated a “fraud on the market” by rigging a fire test and making “misleading” claims about it,

In the Grenfell fire on 14 June 2017, the foam, known as RS5000, contributed greatly to the fire development, also worsened conditions inside the highrise by releasing toxic fire gases form the melting and burning plastic material.

The foam was withdrawn from the market nine days after the fire.

Celotex is a subsidiary of the French construction materials company Saint-Gobain. 

The inquiry continues.

Grenfell Tower suppliers knew their cladding would burn, inquiry told