Police Announce Cause Of Grenfell Tower Fire, And It Wasn't Arson

Demonstrators hold a banner demanding justice for the victims of the recent deadly apartment block fire at Grenfell Tower as they march towards parliament in central London Wednesday
Shock as 600 'Grenfell Towers' built with 'similar' fire hazard cladding across England

27 June, 2017

The Metropolitan Police said on Thursday that every criminal offence is being considered after it was revealed that police had captured documents and materials from a "number of organizations".

Whirlpool on Friday said it was working with British authorities investigating a deadly blaze in a London tower block after police said one of its Hotpoint fridge freezers sparked the fire.

The cladding on the outside of the Grenfell Tower as well as the insulation used in the tower block both failed safety checks, the Metropolitan Police said, nine days after the blaze ripped through the building within minutes.

So far, samples of cladding and insulation collected from the building have failed safety tests. That includes "health and safety and fire safety offenses, and we are looking at every company involved in the refurbishment of the building", she said.

"I can confirm that the numbers that we have of presumed dead, confirmed dead, or missing still remains at 79, with 9 people being formally identified as dead", Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said on Friday.

Police are seizing "relevant material from a number of organizations", McCormack told reporters, without naming the companies or authorities involved. 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.

On Thursday, the United Kingdom government revealed that at least 11 tower blocks across England had been clad with a combustible material similar to that at Grenfell Tower.

Repeating concerns from police commander Stuart Cundy about the scale of the task in identifying the victims, Ms McCormack added: "There is a awful reality that we may not find or identify everyone who died due to the intense heat".

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McCormack called on anyone with information on who might have been in the tower to come forward.

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

McCormack confirmed that a fridge-freezer started the fire at Grenfell Tower, and that it was not deliberate. We will provide additional updates as our investigations progress'.

Nevertheless, the manufacturer was doing further tests, and the United Kingdom government has ordered an immediate technical examination of the model. "But our forensic search may not be complete until the end of the year", she stated.

"Like all councils, we have been working with the government and fire service to review our buildings".

Work is already under way to remove the cladding which the council confirmed was made of aluminium composite material.

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.

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