Grenfell Tower fire caused by faulty fridge, reveals probe

Hotpoint has launched an urgent investigation after police confirmed a faulty fridge sparked the Grenfell Tower blaze which left at least 79 people feared dead.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, and will be "exhaustive", according to Metropolitan Police detective superintendent Fiona McCormack, the BBC reported.

Tests on the building's material as part of the police investigation were "small scale", the officer said, but added: "All I can say at the moment is they (tiles and insulation) don't pass any safety tests".

Preliminary tests on insulation samples recovered from the tower showed they "combusted soon after the test started", Superintendent McCormack said.

Seventy-nine people died or are missing, presumed dead, following the devastating fire at the Grenfell Tower in London which destroyed 151 homes in the Kensington tower block on June 18.

Despite the concerns, a fire safety expert had declared the buildings safe in a review this week, and "robust" safety measures included fire detectors and smoke alarms in every room, a company spokesman said.

'Given the deaths of so many people we are considering manslaughter as well as criminal offences and breaches of legislation and regulations, ' she said.

The UK's Department for Communities and Local Government has written to all local authority and housing association chief executives to advise them on steps to take if tower blocks in their area are found to be covered in cladding they are concerned about.

The charred remains of Grenfell Tower.

She said speaking from outside Scotland Yard that "the investigation will be exhaustive".

Detective McCormack added: "There is a awful reality that we may not find all those who died during the fire".

Tests discovered at least 11 high-rise apartment buildings in England have combustible external panels similar to Grenfell Tower, Prime Minister Theresa May's office said.

In an emotional phone call, Fadumo Ahmed told her mom she was stuck on the upper floors of Grenfell Tower as the deadly blaze raged.

The government has ordered immediate testing of the Hotpoint fridge freezer which was involved.

The Hotpoint fridge freezer was the catalyst for the fire, she said, adding that the disaster was not an act of arson.

"There will now be an additional 24-hour presence on site to provide safety monitoring".

"I do not want there to be any victims of this tragedy that we do not know about".

Investigators will carry out a fingertip search of the building, assisted by search and rescue dogs, and a lift will be installed outside the building next week.

Known in the trade as aluminium composite material - or ACM - the cladding encases a polyethylene core that is flammable.

She reassured people their immigration status would not be investigated.

  • Joey Payne