Devastated Grenfell Tower resident claims fire was caused by his fridge exploding

With fire fighters still trying to determine the exact cause of the Grenfell Tower fire, one devastated resident believes his fridge is to blame.

According to witnesses, the unnamed resident told his neighbours that the fire at the tower block in Kensington, west London, was caused by his fridge exploding.

Samira Lamrani, 38, who lives nearby said: “I saw a very small fire to begin with and a gentleman at the bottom gesturing saying his refrigerator had exploded and then the fire spread really rapidly.

A Grenfell Tower resident believes his fridge was the cause of the fire (PA)
Flames devastated the tower block in west London (PA)

“People were appearing at their windows trying to smack them but apparently they are double glazed windows and they were not able to break them and there’s a safety latch so they weren’t able to open them.”

Samira added of the man who blamed his fridge: “He was just beside himself. He was just as surprised at how quickly the fire spread as anybody else.

“I could hear him saying that he contacted the emergency services immediately and they reassured him everything would be under control within a short period of time, and obviously it wasn’t.”

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Some 200 firefighters rushed to the tower block after it caught fire in the early hours of this morning.

Witnesses spoke of residents throwing children out of windows in a desperate effort to save them being consumed by smoke and flames.

So far, six people have been confirmed to have died in the blaze, but more fatalities are expected, according to Commander Stuart Cundy, of the Metropolitan Police.

Firefighters are searching the building for survivors (PA)
Smoke is still billowing over 12 hours since the fire started (PA)

He said: “I can confirm six fatalities at this time but this figure is likely to rise during what will be a complex recovery operation over a number of days.”

Fire crews are searching the tower and Mr Cundy added: “I do anticipate that there may be people within that building that are as yet unaccounted for.”

NHS England said 74 people are being treated in six hospitals across the capital, of whom 20 are in critical care.

Cladding on the building may have exacerbated the fire, according to experts (ITV News)
Grenfell Tower was home to hundreds of people (PA)

Mr Cundy said it is likely to be some time before police can identify the victims, adding that it is too early to speculate on the cause of the fire.

Prime Minister Theresa May was said to be “deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life” and newly appointed police and fire minister Nick Hurd will chair a meeting of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat to co-ordinate the response.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told reporters: “This is an unprecedented incident. In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never ever seen anything of this scale.”

The high rise is situated in west London (PA)
Bodies are being taken away as six people have so far have been confirmed to have died (PA)

Grenfell Tower was built in 1974 and contains 120 flats thought to be home to between 400 and 600 people.

The building was refurbished recently at a cost of £8.6 million, with work completed in May last year.

Rydon, the firm that carried it out, said its work “met all required building control, fire regulation, and health and safety standards”.