Harrowing pictures inside gutted flat where Grenfell Tower fire broke out released

The Grenfell Inquiry has released this picture of the kitchen in flat 16 where the fire started on June 14 last year. (PA Images)

Pictures showing the gutted kitchen where the devastating Grenfell Tower fire broke out have been released for the first time.

The photos were shown to the Grenfell Inquiry, which is currently investigating the cause and spread of the fire, which killed 72 people as it tore through the 25-storey building on 14 June last year.

Five expert reports were released this morning, one of which included the harrowing pictures of flat 16.

The report states the ‘origin of the fire was in, or around, the tall fridge freezer’. 

The Grenfell Tower fire broke out in the kitchen of flat 16. (PA Images)

The report by University of Dundee Professor Niamh Daeid concluded: ‘On the basis of the available evidence, it is more likely than not that the area of origin of the fire was in, or around, the tall fridge freezer in the southeast part of the kitchen.

‘The cause of the fire remains undetermined although, based on the available information, it is more likely than not to be an accidental cause rather than a deliberate act.

‘The originating fire within flat 16 extended out of the kitchen window of the flat and at some point re-entered through the window of the bedroom next to the living room of flat 16 causing further damage to the flat.’

Flat 16: Newly released pictures show the blackened interior of the flat where the blaze began (PA Images)
Flat 16: Newly released pictures show the blackened interior of the flat where the blaze began (PA Images)

One of the residents of the flat told the emergency services about the fridge when he first called 999.

In a panicked call to the fire bridge, Behailu Kebede can be heard saying: ‘Flat 16 Grenfell Tower, in the fridge.

He is then heard giving his postcode, and saying: ‘Come quick please.’

72 people as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire (PA Images)

In his witness statement, Mr Kebede said that he was woken up by his fire alarm at 12.55am. He then went to the kitchen and saw smoke around the fridge freezer.

He then woke the other two people who lived in the flat, and the people living in the surrounding properties.

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None of the bodies involved in the refurbishment of the tower block in 2016 had a clear understanding of how the new cladding system would behave in a fire, another of the reports released today concluded.

The highly flammable cladding has been blamed for the rapid spread of the deadly fire up the tower.

The lack of understanding about the cladding also meant that the advice to residents to ‘stay put’ in the event of a fire had ‘effectively failed’ barely half an hour after the fire started, at 1.26am, Dr Barbara Lane wrote.

Dr Barbara Lane, an expert commissioned by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry to analyse the blaze, said in a report released on Monday: ‘I have found no evidence yet that any member of the design team or the construction ascertained the fire performance of the rainscreen cladding system materials, nor understood how the assembly performed in fire.’

Tests showed the materials forming the cladding system, individually and together, did not comply ‘with the recommended fire performance’ set out in guidance for a building of that height, the report said.