Lawsuit: U.S. Building Materials Made Grenfell Tower a ‘Flaming Coffin’

Hundreds of survivors and family members of the victims of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire have alleged that U.S. companies are to blame for the rapidly spreading blaze that killed 72 people, the Associated Press reports. Whirlpool, Arconic Inc., and Celotex were all named in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Philadelphia for allegedly turning the building into a “flaming coffin.” “This fire originated and spread because of decisions made in the United States by United States corporations that prioritized profits over safety,” lawyer Robert Mongeluzzi wrote. More specifically, the lawsuit claims a Whirlpool refrigerator ignited the fire while the Arconic cladding and Celotex insulation acted as fire accelerants. The Arconic cladding used on the Grenfell Tower was allegedly made of a “highly flammable material” that couldn't be used in U.S. buildings. The Celotex insulation was also allegedly combustable and released “cyanide gas” that killed and injured a number of victims. Both the Arconic and Celotex products were pulled from the market after the fire, the plaintiffs’ lawyers reportedly said.

Whirlpool noted that two investigations found “no fault with the refrigerator model” involved in a fire and Celotex said its insulation was just “one element” of the building’s make-up. Arconic told the Associated Press that it would respond to the lawsuit in court.