The fire ripped through five floors of the residential block on Friday 19 August and hundreds of residents had to be evacuated with many having to spend the night away from their homes.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) sent 20 fire engines and 120 fire fighters to tackle the blaze which took almost two hours to get under control. The LFB said in a press release that the fire started in the kitchen on the seventh floor of the Shepherd’s Court block on the Charecroft Estate. They added that “fire investigators believe it was caused by a faulty Indesit tumble dryer which was subject to ‘corrective action’ by the manufacturer and was due to be seen by an engineer.”
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “If my kitchen had one of the recalled goods in it, I would unplug it straight away until it has been checked and repaired. The speed with which the fire took hold shows how dangerous a faulty tumble dryer can be that’s why we are calling for Whirlpool to urgently change their advice to consumers.
“The flat’s occupants had a terrifying ordeal. The kitchen quickly became smoke logged and thankfully they noticed the smoke and quickly left the flat and called the Brigade. This decision could have saved lives. If your appliance is subject to a safety or recall notice or you think there is something wrong with it our advice is simple. Unplug it immediately and contact the manufacturer or a qualified repair technician.”
Law firm Leigh Day has been instructed by families affected by the fire. Thomas Jervis, consumer product liability specialist at Leigh Day said: "It is a miracle that nobody died in this serious tower block fire. We have been instructed by a number of residents to ensure that the manufacturers of the alleged faulty appliances are held accountable. If it is found that this fire was preventable we want to make sure that this never happens again as next time people may not be so fortunate.”
The consumer safety team at Leigh Day is currently representing a number of individuals from around the country whose lives have been ruined by household appliance fires. Suffering a fire in the home can be a devastating experience and can have a huge impact on the lives of those affected.
Leigh Day has set up a campaign group, ‘Expect It’s Safe’, to encourage manufacturers to make greater efforts to repair and trace faulty appliances once faults have been identified.