Whirlpool: London Fire Disaster Fridge was Discontinued in 2009
LONDON (CNNMoney) — Over 60,000 units of the refrigerator identified as the source of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire were produced before the model was discontinued in 2009, according to Whirlpool.
London’s Metropolitan Police announced Friday that last week’s massive blaze originated with a Hotpoint fridge freezer manufactured by Whirlpool subsidiary Indesit. The U.K. government subsequently ordered an “immediate examination” of the unit by technical experts.
The government said the model had never been recalled in the country.
Whirlpool, which acquired Italy-based Indesit in 2014, said that 64,000 units carrying the model numbers FF175BP and FF175BG were produced between March 2006 and July 2009. It said the number of appliances in use today would be lower because of normal obsolescence.
Whirlpool said it would work with authorities as they investigate the fire that left at least 79 people dead or presumed dead.
“We offer our most profound condolences to the victims, those who have lost loved-ones, homes, and possessions, and to their friends and families,” Whirlpool said in a statement. “We are addressing this as a matter of utmost urgency.”
Whirlpool said that owners of the model should contact its customer hotline.
The government said that there was “no specific reason for consumers to switch off their fridge freezer pending further investigation.”
The Metropolitan Police said they are considering manslaughter charges among the criminal offenses that may have been committed in relation to the fire. Police said they are focused on how the blaze started, how it spread and whether any person or organizations should be held responsible.
Speculation has focused on the role that cladding apparently used in a recent refurbishment of the tower may have played in the fire, which appeared to spread quickly up the exterior of the tower in the early hours of June 14.
The government said Thursday it was carrying out tests on 600 high-rise buildings across England that are covered in cladding, with at least 11 high-rise buildings so far identified as having combustible panels.