Every high-rise building in London the U.K. government has tested for combustible siding has failed the safety test, the government said Monday, bringing the total to 75. The tests, which are focused on the buildings’ exteriors, were ordered after the Grenfell Tower caught fire earlier this month and killed 79 people. News of the widespread failures has angered the public, and it prompted Arconic, the U.S. company that supplied the siding, to announce it will no longer sell it.
The U.K. government has ordered more than 600 buildings across the country tested, many of which serve as public housing. Late last week, government officials ordered about 4,000 people living in five towers to evacuate after their buildings failed fire-safety tests. It was a precautionary step, but it left many families with nowhere to go, and replacing the siding could take up to six weeks.
Investigators confirmed last week that a faulty refrigerator caused the fire at Grenfell Towers. The appliance was made by Hotpoint, and the company said the fridge was not under recall, but was retesting the model in light of the fire. The investigation is still ongoing, but most of the attention has been placed on the siding, which witnesses said had burned intensely and seemed to fuel the flames during the blaze. Camden Council officials said they were removing the siding supplied by Arconic from five high rises. The council also said it had ordered noncombustible cladding, but later found out combustible cladding had been used instead.