Grenfell Tower fire started in a fridge freezer, UK police say

Insulation and cladding tiles in the building 'have failed safety tests'

Grenfell Tower fire started in a fridge freezer, UK police say

Grenfell Tower in London | Image: Ik Aldama/DPA/PA Images

The Grenfell Tower fire in London started in a Hotpoint fridge-freezer, British police say.

They have also revealed that the building's insulation and cladding have failed safety tests.

Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said: "We now have expert evidence that the fire was not started deliberately - the fire started in a fridge freezer - the make and model is a Hotpoint FF175BP.

"We are working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who are talking to the manufacturer of the fridge freezer.

"But we do know that that this model has not been subject to any product recall."

She said further testing on the fridge freezer is being carried out by the manufacturer.

The British government has also ordered an immediate examination by experts of the model involved.

Hotpoint said it is working with the authorities in order to assist in the investigation.

The company has also issued an alert for the affected models, tweeting:


Image: Hotpoint

In a statement to Newstalk.com, Hotpoint said: "Words cannot express our sorrow at this terrible tragedy. We offer our most profound condolences to the victims, those who have lost loved-ones, homes, and possessions, and to their friends and families.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those involved, including the emergency services who risked their lives to extinguish the blaze and rescue those in the building.

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

"We are working with the authorities to obtain access to the appliance so that we can assist with the ongoing investigations.

"Under these circumstances, we are unable to speculate on further details at this time.

"We are addressing this as a matter of utmost urgency and assisting the authorities in any way we can. We will provide additional updates as our investigations progress."

During the period March 2006 to July 2009, a total of 64,000 units were manufactured by Indesit under the Hotpoint brand.

Hotpoint said these models were discontinued in 2009, several years before Whirlpool acquired Indesit.

Detective Superintendent McCormack added: "We will examine the construction of the building including the refurbishment.

"Whilst of course we are examining, with experts, the aluminium panelling we are also looking at the entire exterior of the building.

"What that means is the aluminium composite tiles, the insulation behind it, how the tiles were fixed to the building as well as how it was installed.

"Our tests will look at each aspect individually as well as how they how all worked together as part of the building's cladding.

"Preliminary tests show the insulation samples collected from Grenfell Tower combusted soon after the test started.

"The initial tests on equivalent aluminium composite tiles failed the safety tests."

The blaze at the 24-storey building left 79 dead or missing presumed dead - nine have so far been formally identified.