There would have been "little opportunity" for a fire at Grenfell Tower to spread with such devastating consequences as it did if the outside of the building had not been renovated with "combustible" material, according to a report seen by the Evening Standard .
The draft report from January this year - said to have been prepared by fire investigation experts BRE Global as part of the police investigation into the tragic blaze last June - also said the fire damage was so severe that if the building had been constructed to less stringent current safety regulations "it is likely the tower would have collapsed, whether fully or partially".
According to the Evening Standard , the leaked report said: “Grenfell Tower, as originally built, appears to have been designed on the premise of providing very high levels of passive fire protection."
And the report added: “In BRE’s opinion… there would have been little opportunity for a fire in a flat of Grenfell Tower to spread to any neighbouring flats.”
However, it found alleged “deficiencies” in the construction of a new facade during refurbishment of the tower block from 2014 to 2016 , which were said to have helped the flames spread up and down the building's exterior.
The Evening Standard's report refers to the investigation saying the fire would not have spread from a fridge freezer in a fourth floor kitchen had the building not been re-clad.
It also identified flaws with wall cavity barriers, window frames, 'door closers' and flammable insulation and cladding, the paper said.
A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said the force was "disappointed that an interim draft report appears to have been leaked", adding it would not "confirm specifics of the ongoing investigation".
She said the police investigation into the fire was looking at the original construction of the building and any changes such as the recent refurbishment - "that includes not just the cladding system, but all the fire doors, windows, building management, and how all of those elements reacted together."
The police spokeswoman added: “Our aim is to carry out an investigation that has integrity and if it uncovers evidence that any individual or organisation is criminally culpable, we want that evidence to be tested through the judicial system.
"The heart of our investigation is and will continue to be the families of those who lost their lives, those for whom Grenfell Tower was home and the local community so impacted by events that night."
A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea Council commented: “We think the public inquiry and the police investigation are the right places for testing all the evidence as a whole.
"We hope full disclosure of all the evidence, tested by the inquiry judge, will deliver the answers to ensure this never happens again."
Grenfell United, the main group supporting survivors and bereaved families of the fire , described the apparent findings of the report as "shocking".
BRE Global said it would not be commenting.
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