Possible Cladding Fire South Korea

by John Herbert

9 Oct. 2020 == the BBC news is reporting a dangerous high rise building fire in the city of Ulsan, South Korea.

Judging from the limited coverage, from the very rapid exterior flame spread it appears to be another cladding fire. Follow BBC for latest news:


Above image credit ZHANIYA/@ZHANY.YO

Stupid WordPress doesn’t embed twitter and other content :(

video: https://twitter.com/i/status/1314338809337860097

more video: https://twitter.com/abbaszahid24/status/1314371856837873664

more videos: http://www.instagram.com/zhany.yo/


UAE Combustible Cladding

CREDIT: Khaleej Times

As predicted in the 6 May 2020 post combustible cladding was found covering the Abbco Tower, UAE, police have confirmed. Here is the link to the article: https://bit.ly/2yxspZP

Blaze guts UAE high-rise

CREDIT: Khaleej Times 6 May 2020

The Khaleej Times is covering the blaze of the 49 story Abbco Tower in Sharjah, UAE, it comprises 36 levels of residential accommodation and 20 levels of parking, the Khaleej Times newspaper reports. Here is the link:


On that webpage, video recorded during the night of fire shows burning debris showered on the streets below, a recognizable pattern of destruction. Thankfully, no fatalities reported.

Once again, the impossible has occurred, the building fire was not contained within one fire compartment, the whole tower was gutted in less than three (3) hours.

From the video limited coverage, it appears to be another combustible cladding fire, the video shows the initial fire spread with defined vertical progression, before expanding laterally fire capturing the floor. Check out this video:


capture from @Gr_Yassine twitter video

The fire spread is vertical, straight up the tower, indicating propagation of the fire up the cladding.

More about high rise fires:



High Rise Death Traps

It is a scary time in Hong Kong, covid19 has closed schools, so all the kids at home studying on Zoom, and an increasing number of people are also working at home to maintain social distancing. But the majority are living in high rise buildings, most without any sprinklers, many older buildings are just high rise death traps.


Government’s across the planet have amazing hindsight, AFTER a major disaster has occurred, after lives have been lost, then months of wrangling ensure to update the building codes or governing regulations, that price is too high in my view.

Well, it seems I have to wait, I have to wait for the news media to report a disastrous number of unnecessary deaths before Governmental hindsight kicks into action.

April 2020 – broken fire escape fire/smoke door

In the United Kingdom, you might have heard about the Grenfell Tower fire disaster, more than 70 people tragically died, and they had better fire doors than the door in photo recorded in April 2020.

How does this happen is a developed economy, it is a result of Hong Kong’s laissez-faire mantra, passing every possible responsibility to anyone except government, individuals, or private companies, with little, if any oversight.

For building fire safety that means the owner (or hired corporation) is wholly responsible for compliance with the regulations covering fire safety, since nobody checks residential buildings, there is no incentive to comply.

Org Chart

Passive fire safety measures (materials and fire escape routes) are governed by the HKSAR Development Bureau, and its subordinate Building Department (BD), essentially they cover the construction code and regulations, and they conduct site checks before allowing a new building to open.

Active fire safety measures (fire alarms, hose reels, sprinklers, etc) are governed by the HKSAR Security Bureau, and its subordinate Fire Services Department (FSD), essentially they cover code and regulations for the active systems, they conduct site checks before opening a new building, reporting the result to BD.

Why Residential Sprinklers

Fire sprinklers buy time, precious time. In the absence of any immediate occupants to raise the fire alarm, modern sprinklers when activated by fire automatically sound the fire alarm, but more importantly, they immediately put water on the fire.

That immediate water slows the progress allowing time for people to escape, it helps control the smoke and while the water is full, keeps putting water on the fire while the fire bridge are travelling to the site. Often a fire sprinkler system can prevent a fire from becoming a disaster while waiting for the firefighters to tackle the blaze.