London police confirmed on Friday that a deadly blaze last week that caused at least 79 fatalities was caused by a fridge freezer.
The police are investigating how a fridge freezer — a Hotpoint FF175BP caused a fire in the kitchen of one apartment went rampant rapidly in the 24-story building.
The police also said that insulation and tiles provided in the building’s exterior cladding did not prove effective during safety tests.
“Preliminary tests on the insulation samples collected from Grenfell Tower showed that they combusted soon after the test started. The initial test on the cladding tiles also failed the safety tests,” Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack told reporters.
Hotpoint released a “product notice” for the fridge freezer labelled by authorities as the reason behind the blaze. The company urged the owners to examine their models and serial numbers and fill an online form.
“We have been made aware of a possible incident involving a Hotpoint branded Fridge Freezer, manufactured between March 2006 and July 2009, model numbers FF175BP (white) and FF175BG (graphite),” the notice said.
Speculations provoked over the building’s exterior cladding’s efficiency. This not the first time for combustible cladding to be blamed for rapid fires at high-rise buildings, it has not resisted flames in building in Dubai and Melbourne, Australia.
The British government is examining hundreds of high-rise apartments to check if they exterior tiles that would likely be flammable. The government has found 11 buildings so far with cladding similar to that in Grenfell Tower.
McCormack said that the police were considering charging every company involuntarily contributed to the Grenfell Tower blaze with manslaughter.
“We are looking at every criminal offense, from manslaughter. We are looking at every health and safety and fire safety offenses, and we are reviewing every company at the moment involved in the building and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.” she said.