Glasgow College of Art fire caused by gases from foam canister, says report

The fire which ripped via the Glasgow College of Art’s historic Mackintosh constructing was commenced when flammable gases from a foam canister used in a pupil task had been ignited, according to a report by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Support.

The class-A listed constructing was engulfed in flames in Could, as students were getting ready for their final-yr degree display. Considerably of their perform was lost, and so was the building’s renowned library, a single of the world’s best examples of art nouveau design and style, which housed numerous unusual and archival resources as properly as authentic furnishings and fittings.

The report concludes that the blaze started when a projector ignited gases from the expanding foam, and took hold quickly as gaps in the walls and old ventilation ducts assisted its spread into neighbouring studios and upwards through the building.

The pupil work in query was manufactured up of foam panels fastened to 3 walls, with a single wall left blank to get pictures from a projector mounted opposite. At the time of the incident, visible gaps in between the panels were being filled in by applying expanding foam from a canister.

The report also notes that a fire suppression method, designed to enhance existing fire protection measures, was in the latter phases of set up at the time of the fire, but was not but operational.

Professor Tom Inns, director of the GSA, said: “The fire was an accident and, like any accident, it is brought on by several different aspects coming together and conspiring against us on the day. There are a huge number of lessons that can be discovered and we’ve been working quite difficult above the last six months on our wellness and security procedures, training and so on.”

Prof Inns added: “We’ve been performing several diverse issues in excess of the summer to find out from the expertise and now we go into the method of dealing with the restoration of the creating. The report is very detailed about how the fire spread round the developing and that provides us a great deal of new expertise that we require to take on board.”

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