London hotel blaze centred on outside of ‘cladding-covered’ building


A fire at a five-storey hotel in west London was on the outside of the building, which a witness says was covered in cladding.

About 100 firefighters tackled the blaze at the Travelodge in High Street, Brentford, in the early hours of Wednesday.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said about 160 people were evacuated from the building and there were no injuries.

Hotel guest Reg Williams, from Stratford-upon-Avon, said parts of the building covered in cladding were “shrouded” in smoke.

He told the PA news agency: “The fire crews had the hoses in that cladded area for ages.

“I’m concerned that cladding is still attached to buildings.”

“The fire was quite big, the flames were 20 metres high,” he said. “It really went up quickly.”

Fifteen fire engines attended the incident, which started in a bin room adjacent to the hotel.

An LFB spokesman said the blaze spread to the hotel and “up five floors”.

He told PA: “The fire was on the outside, from what I gather. That is how it is looking.”

Asked if the fire spread across the cladding, the spokesman added: “We would not give details until we have carried out an investigation.”

In a tweet, which included a link to a story about the fire, Labour politician Emma Dent Coad, whose constituency included Grenfell Tower, said: “While there is breath in my body – in or out of parliament – I will do everything I can to reverse policies that allowed use of combustible materials & ensure unsafe buildings are dealt with asap.

“This is a national scandal. People will die.”

It comes after pressure group Grenfell United sent a letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday raising “grave concerns” that a “Grenfell-like fire” will occur again.

The letter said: “It is our conviction that a serious fire in the UK, leading to a loss of life, will occur in a building wrapped in combustible materials unless you act.”

The Travelodge is located less than five miles from the site of the Grenfell Tower disaster, which claimed the lives of 72 people in 2017.

The hotel was badly damaged by the blaze

A Travelodge spokesman said the fire occurred at its London Kew Bridge hotel.

“Guests are being looked after locally and our team are now making arrangements for their future accommodation and support,” the spokesman said.

In response to questions about cladding and how the blaze spread, the spokesman said the company did not wish to “speculate” and that it was supporting the fire brigade.

Fire crews were called to the hotel at 2.52am and were supported by staff from surrounding fire stations.

The blaze was “under control” by 6.53am and its cause is now being investigated, the brigade said.

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