Fire safety tests and checks will be carried out on high-rise blocks used for social housing in Wales after a request from the Welsh Government.
Cladding was stripped from five blocks in the Camden council area in London yesterday as councils around the country scramble to ensure their buildings are safe.
A deadly fire that killed at least 79 people in a London tower block started in a Whirlpool Corp. fridge and spread at “unexpected speed” through the building’s exterior cladding, police said, indicating they’ll pursue charges if criminal offenses are identified.
“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”, Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said Friday.
‘The investigation will be exhaustive, ‘ she added. At this stage there is no specific reason for consumers to switch off their fridge freezer pending further investigation.
Earlier in the week, the police said that the number of people missing and presumed dead in the fire was 79.
London’s Metropolitan Police have secured a promise from the United Kingdom government not to investigate the immigration status of anyone in the tower, a move meant to encourage more people to come forward with the names of visitors or residents missing since the blaze.
Preliminary tests on insulation samples recovered from the tower showed they “combusted soon after the test started”, Superintendent McCormack said. Officials say cladding samples from 11 other high-rise buildings in eight municipalities in the United Kingdom, including in London, have also failed tests.
Hundreds of people are working on the complex investigation; while a full visual search was completed last week, McCormack said a “full fingertip search” and other painstaking methods will also be required.
Nine of those who died in the 14 June have been formally identified so far.
The block was refurbished by the same contractor as Grenfell Tower, construction company Rydon. But, McCormack said, “Next week we will be installing a lift to the outside of the building to assist the recovery process”.
“However, we have chose to test the material to provide additional reassurance for our residents”.
“We are looking at every criminal offense from manslaughter onwards, 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”, McCormack told journalists in a statement. “Some of those calls are over an hour long and each call tells its own distressing story”.
“The Home Office has assured us that they are not interested in people’s immigration status and we are not interested in looking at that”, McCormack said.
‘There is a bad reality that we may not find or identify everyone who died due to the intense heat, ‘ she said, revealing the scale of the devastation. “I do not want there to be any hidden victims of this tragedy”.