The Grenfell Tower fire

The enquiry, following the fire in Grenfell Tower which tragically killed 72 people, has heard that the ignition point was probably caused by a poor connection on a Hotpoint FF175BP Fridge Freezer.

 

Dr John Duncan Glover concluded that last year’s June 14th fire probably began in the Hotpoint FF175BP in the kitchen of Flat 16.

 

A public inquiry into the disaster, was on Tuesday shown a picture of the connector thought to have overheated and started the fire.

Investigators recovered the evidence from the relay compressor compartment at the rear of the fridge freezer.

 

Electrical fire expert Dr Glover highlighted the “poor crimp connection”, which increased the resistance across its connection creating heat.

The principal engineer at Failure Electrical, a firm which investigates electrical failures, said spaces seen in images taken from CT scans indicated it had not been “properly crimped”.

“I found voids in all 80 cross-sections indicating the crimp was not nice and tight,” he said.

 

In a report prepared for the inquiry Dr Glover concluded: “A probable cause of the fire is a poor crimp connection for… an overheated wire connector within the compressor relay compartment for the fridge freezer (Hotpoint Model FF175BP) from Flat 16.”

He said: “The overheating connector in my opinion was the first event that started burning the insulation on the wires that led to a short circuit.”

Dr Glover added: “The overheating of the crimp starts the fire.

“It overheats, it glows, it ignites.”

A spokesperson for Whirlpool said: “We are committed to assisting the Grenfell Tower Inquiry in any way we can as it continues to investigate all the potential origins and causes of the fire and how it spread.

“Separately, we would like to reassure owners of these products that they are safe and they can continue to use them as normal.

“Nothing matters more to us than people’s safety. That’s why as soon as we were made aware of this incident, we launched an investigation into the model of fridge freezer that was said to have been involved.

 

“Two separate investigations have been carried out – one by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and another by Whirlpool. Both investigations independently found no evidence of any fault with this model and confirmed that it fully complied with all safety requirements. These conclusions have also been verified by the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

“All fridges, freezers, and fridge freezers across all our UK brands – including Hotpoint, Indesit and Whirlpool – are manufactured with solid metal or aluminium laminate flame-retardant back panels.”

Steve Bunyan

Engineer first, trainer 2nd