Officials defend materials used on FirstEnergy Stadium similar to those in London apartment fire

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CLEVELAND-- City of Cleveland officials strongly refuted a report that has led to questions about whether there is a fire risk at First Energy Stadium.

"What's inside of this installation is not flammable," said Tom Vanover, Cleveland's Building Commissioner, as he points towards the stadium.

Questions arose after an Associated Press story reported the same external material that is on large sections of the stadium was also on the Grenfell Tower in London. That high-rise erupted in flames earlier this year, killing more than 80 people.

Vanover said it is the same or very similar material on both the stadium and the high-rise's exteriors, but that fact doesn't tell the story.

He said the paneling is aluminum, so "it's not flammable." He said what's critical is that none of the materials that the paneling is attached to at the stadium are flammable either.

"The additional components in Grenfell were flammable," Vanover said.

The city said  the structure is not residential, and that fire experts are on "fire watch" at every event at the stadium, just in case there was even a small incident.

The Grenfell Tower did not have sprinklers - which the stadium does.

Vanover said fans "should feel... safe" inside the stadium because it is made of of "fully non-combustible construction."

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