Grenfell United and the Fire Brigades Union have renewed their calls for ‘action and justice’ in the wake of a major fire in a block of flats in the Spanish city of Valencia.

The fire, which was first reported on the evening of Thursday, 22nd February, has killed at least nine people.

Initial indications are that flammable cladding played a key role in allowing the fire to spread quickly and dangerously through the 14-floor apartment complex.

The blaze reportedly started on the fourth floor of the larger block before spreading to the adjacent one.

The construction materials used, specifically a layer of cladding beneath a thin aluminium layer, have been highlighted as a critical factor in the fire’s rapid progression.

Esther Puchades, vice president of the College of Industrial Technical Engineers of Valencia, said: “The reason the [building] burned so fast is because of this type of cladding.”

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy. It is vital that fire services and governments learn lessons internationally. Had the UK government done so, many lives might have been saved in recent years.

“Early indications are that, as happened during the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Valencia fire spread quickly because of flammable cladding, and that lives have been lost as a result. Once again, we see the profits of developers being prioritised over human life.

“The Fire Brigades Union extends its solidarity to all of the residents of the tower and all the firefighters involved in the rescue operation. We demand action and justice, in the UK and abroad.”

In a statement, Grenfell United said: “Today we think of those who were lost and their grieving loved ones, and those who survived in Valencia. The similarities are terrifying between the images seen there and the Grenfell fire and aftermath.

“Sadly, seven years was not enough for governments and businesses to learn lessons.”