July 2003. Location: Erdington, West Midlands

Building description

External walls were constructed using standard PUR insulated horizontal wall panels (see photograph 1) The storeroom in which the fire occurred was located adjacent to external wall and was constructed with block work walls to 2.5 metres high with a false ceiling.


The fire took place in the storeroom. The storeroom contained a high fire load and the intensity of the fire is indicated by the damage to the fire resisting wooden door frame (see photograph 2).

The fire broke out of the storeroom resulting in direct flame impingement on the adjacent panels.


  • Charring was visible at the joints where there had been direct impingement (see photograph 3).
  • Although the metal purlins above the seat of the fire were distorted, the panel joints did not open up and there was no evidence of ignition or fire spread.