London: The deadly fire that broke out at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in London was caused by a faulty fridge in a fourth-floor apartment, according to reports.
The flat’s owner, a mini-cab driver Behailu Kebede, reportedly attempted to warn other residents about the blaze in his kitchen, potentially saving lives, the Independent said.
Neighbours told how Mr Kebede, a father of one, immediately raised the alarm after discovering the fire in his flat, which was number 16 in the tower, as well as contacting the police and fire services.
The man’s neighbour, Maryann Adam, 41, said he had woken her up to warn her about the fire. “The fire was small in the kitchen. I could see it because the flat door was open. There was no alarm,” she said.
Investigators, however, said their inquiries are at an early stage and have not confirmed what started the blaze.
Meanwhile the British media reported that that the type of cladding used on the exterior walls of the tower block was not graded fire-resistant and its use is restricted in the US.
The aluminium cladding, called Reynobond, was made by US company Arconic and had a polyethylene core, which the reports said was slightly cheaper than fire-resistant models by the same manufacturer.
It was fitted by a company called Harley Facades, which has put out a statement following Wednesday’s blaze saying: “We are not aware of any link between the fire and the exterior cladding of the tower.”