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London tower block fire: Death toll climbs to 30

What was the cause of the London tower fire?

The deadly Grenfell Tower blaze started in a Hotpoint fridge freezer – model number FF175BP.

It is suspected that a fault caused the appliance to catch alight in a fourth floor flat.

Prime Minister Theresa May ordered an immediate examination by experts of the fridge freezer involved in the blaze.

Hotpoint has also said it is working with police to assist with their ongoing investigation adding that a full examination of the fridge and scene by the company has not yet been able to take place.

Firefighters did put out the appliance blaze in the flat after the owner raised the alarm, but flames still spread up the 24-storey building on June 14, fire sources told the BBC.

The gutted remains of the building after the fire raged through the tower block in the early hours of June 14REUTERS
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The gutted remains of the building after the fire raged through the tower block in the early hours of June 14
What else has been been blamed for the Grenfell Tower fire?

Witnesses said flames spread up the exterior cladding of the building sparking an urgent review of tower block safety.

It was revealed that low cost cladding was fitted to the block in a £9million refurb completed in May last year, ordered by the firm that manages the tower.

The cladding used included Reynobond PE – made of Reynolux-coated aluminium sheets over a highly flammable Reynobond polyethylene core.

Dr Roth Phylaktou, an expert in fire investigation, said: “The polyethylene in the cladding would have burnt as quickly as petrol.”

Following the blaze tests of cladding on 208 high rises were ordered – all those tested so far have failed safety checks.

A police investigation and public inquiry into the tragedy are now underway.

About 250 staff are working on the Met’s two-pronged probe to identify victims and alleged criminal activity including manslaughter.

Detectives are looking at more than 60 organisations involved in the construction, refurbishment and management of the building in North Kensington, London.

Grenfell Tower pictured the day after dozens were killed in devastating fireGETTY IMAGES
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Grenfell Tower pictured the day after dozens were killed in devastating fire
What happened in the London fire?

A large fire broke out in the building just after 1am on the morning of Wednesday 14 June 2017.

It spread quickly to cover an area from around the second floor to the top floor.

There are 120 homes in the tower block, with at least 350 people thought to be inside when the blaze began. Some were still trapped hours later.

The first victims were named as Syrian refugee Mohammed Al Haj Ali, 23, and 24-year-old Khadija Saye. Dozens of others have since been named as police and fire crews carry out a painstaking recovery operation through thousands of tonnes of debris.

Desperate people trapped inside the large building were heard screaming for help as the fire took hold.

Horrified witnesses said they could see people waving sheets out of the windows as they called to be rescued, with some jumping from the building.

The London Ambulance Service sent 100 medics to the West London tower block.

About 200 firefighters battled the fire, with 40 engines sent to the scene after the emergency services were alerted at 12.54am.

Smoke could be seen filling the sky across West London from miles away hours after the blaze broke out.

Nearby community centres and churches opened up to provide shelter for people evacuated from their homes as firefighters faced the grim task of removing bodies from the gutted tower.

Harrowing footage taken inside Grenfell Tower has since been released showing the charred remains of the building.

The walls of the concrete stairwell where hundreds of residents made a frantic bid to escape as the inferno erupted have been turned black from the blaze.

It was the only exit for those living inside the North Kensington building and many desperate people jumped from windows to avoid being burnt alive.

The chilling video was released as cops revealed the painstaking work they are doing following the carnage to recover bodies.

Shteesh Bhadauriya
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