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London tower fire began in Hotpoint fridge freezer

Friday, June 23, 2017 - 01:59

A fire that killed at least 79 people at a London tower block started in a fridge freezer made by Hotpoint, a European brand owned by U.S. giant Whirlpool. As Ivor Bennett reports, the world's largest maker of home appliances says it's working with the authorities.

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Of the many questions left by the fire at Grenfell Tower, one has now been answered. It started, experts have concluded, in a fridge freezer manufactured by Hotpoint, who police say they are now working with. (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLICE DETECTIVE SUPERINTENDENT, FIONA MCCORMACK, SAYING: "We know this fire wasn't started deliberately. And we know that the fridge freezer in this matter has never been subject to a product recall before. Further tests are undergoing on that fridge." The UK has ordered an immediate technical examination of the model but said there was no need for owners to switch them off. 64,000 were made before the model was discontinued in 2009. Hotpoint's U.S. parent company, Whirlpool, is the largest manufacturer of domestic appliances in the world. In a statement, it said: "We offer our most profound condolences to the victims, those who have lost loved ones, homes, and possessions, and to their friends and families." Adding: "We are working with the authorities to obtain access to the appliance so that we can assist with the ongoing investigations". As for the investigation looking at the outside of the building, police said both the tiles and insulation that were used on the block failed all safety tests. (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLICE DETECTIVE SUPERINTENDENT, FIONA MCCORMACK, SAYING: "We are looking at every criminal offence from manslaughter onwards. We are looking at every health and safety and fire safety offences and we are reviewing every company at the moment involved in the building and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower." Cladding is often added to high-rise buildings in England for insulation and to improve their appearance. But the government said it is now urgently conducting tests on some 600 tower blocks. While some local authorities, like Camden in London, have already started to remove the panels.

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London tower fire began in Hotpoint fridge freezer

Friday, June 23, 2017 - 01:59