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London police confirm deadly high-rise fire began in refrigerator

LONDON — London police on Friday said that the deadly fire last week that killed at least 79 people was started by a fridge freezer — the first official confirmation on the cause of the blaze.

The fridge freezer — Hotpoint FF175BP — was not subject to a product recall, police said, adding that one of the key concerns in their investigation is how a fire that began in the kitchen of one apartment spread so rapidly though a 24-story high rise.

The police also said that insulation and tiles used in the building’s exterior cladding had failed fire 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.

She added that the police were considering manslaughter charges among the possible offences in relation to the fire.

She said that all of the bodies that were intact have been removed from the 24-story tower block and that the death toll remained at 79.

“However, I do expect the number to change,” she said.

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