London Grenfell tower blaze began in faulty fridge

The fridge manufacturer, Hotpoint, hadn't recalled that model prior to the fire, but it's now asking customers to check their model numbers and contact the company.

Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said cladding and insulation encasing the building did not pass any fire safety tests, increasing concern the 24-storey block's facade accelerated the blaze's spread.

Arun District Council said it would be carrying out safety tests in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in which more than 79 people are believed to have died.

Local activists in North Kensington, who for years had warned the authorities of fire risks at Grenfell Tower, reacted with outrage to the initial details emerging from the investigation.

NAN reports that May said on Thursday that 600 buildings in England have cladding similar to that used at the Grenfell Tower block.

As well as investigating the cladding and insulation materials, McCormack said the force was examining "how the tiles were fixed to the building and how they were installed".

"Such is that devastation down at the scene, this may take at least until the end of the year", Detective Superintendent McCormack said, adding, "There is the bad reality that we may not find or identify all those that died during the fire". The material used in the cladding is banned in the United States and can not be installed higher than 40 feet, the limit of most fire fighters' ladders, in some areas of Europe.

'Our priority is to understand who was in Grenfell Tower.

"We have just been informed that the fire may have originated in a Hotpoint fridge freezer (model number FF175BP)".

As police continued to unpick the roots of the disaster, Ms McCormack said a string of criminal offences were now being considered.

Experts have claimed that victims of the Grenfell Tower inferno might have been killed by highly toxic gases, namely cyanide and carbon monoxide, emitted by the building's external cladding as it burnt.

Refurbishment on the building, including cladding, was overseen by Rydon, the company involved in the refit of Grenfell Tower.

Police say that 79 people are dead or presumed dead, but suggested the death toll could rise higher.

"We're also stepping up safety measures in the block immediately, with fire safety patrols taking place day and night from today until the panels are removed".

Hundreds of people are working on the complex investigation; while a full visual search was completed last week, McCormack said a "full fingertip search" and other painstaking methods will also be required.

She pleaded with those who knew the exact individuals that were in the building to contact the police, specifying that neither the Home Office nor the police would be interrogated those people's immigration status.

"However, we have made a decision to test the material to provide additional reassurance for our residents".

Vanessa Coleman