Fridge freezer probably started Grenfell inferno, inquiry told

A fire in or around a fridge freezer probably started the catastrophic blaze that engulfed Grenfell Tower, the inquiry into the inferno has heard.

After seven days of tributes to the 72 people who died in the tragedy, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry has moved to the causes of the blaze and how it spread so quickly.

According to evidence from Professor Niamh Nic Daeid, an expert in fire investigations and forensic science at Dundee University, the exact cause of the fire could not be determined but was likely to have started in the kitchen of Flat 16.


It is then thought to have spread out of the kitchen window and re-entered Flat 16 through a bedroom window, then spread through the flat.

In her report, Prof Daeid added: “The cause of the fire remains undetermined although, based on the available information, it is more likely than not be an accidental cause rather than a deliberate act.”

On the first day since moving to the investigation into the fire, the inquiry heard that Grenfell Tower had “multiple catastrophic fire-spread routes” which were created during cladding construction.

Dr Barbara Lane, one of the expert witnesses in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, said in her findings that alongside the cladding, there were a number of failures raised including internal doors and flat front doors, a dry fire main and the lift switch to firefighter mode not working.

In her expert report, Dr Lane found “no evidence” that key people involved in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower understood how the cladding system would behave in a fire.

She also did not find evidence that the London Fire Brigade assessment recorded the fire performance of the rainscreen cladding and that the “Stay Put” advice had failed residents.

Dr Lane wrote that the cladding “contributed to the most rapid of the external fire spread”.

Her report added: “The windows were not provided with fire resisting cavity barriers. These unprotected openings themselves were surrounded by combustible material. Additional combustible construction materials were located in the room on the ceiling beside the window.

“I conclude that the entire system could not adequately resist the spread of fire over the walls having regard to height, use and position of the building.

“Specifically, the assembly failed adequately to resist the spread of fire to an extent that supported the required Stay Put strategy for this high-rise residential building.”

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