Deborah Berger, a product manager at Celotex, told the Grenfell public inquiry that almost three years before the 2017 disaster, colleagues alerted her that a safety test had been rigged with fire-retardant panels to boost the insulation’s fire performance, but the modifications were left out of marketing literature used by architects and specifiers.
She was so alarmed that she noted “WTF?” next to a photograph of the test rig where she saw that fire-resistant magnesium oxide panels had been fitted.
She said: “I didn’t think Celotex would do that. I thought Celotex was a good company that prided itself on doing the right thing, on being honest. I was really shocked by this. It appeared to me Celotex had taken some materials and installed them to pass the test.”
Berger was the latest witness to give evidence from Celotex. She said what had been done with the test was “like a secret, something we didn’t talk about”, adding: “I wish we had...Things were shared with me about the testing of the product and then when I tried to be honest and open about it and talk to people about it, it didn’t go very far.”