Police have confirmed that the blaze was started by a faulty Hotpoint fridge freezer and that the insulation used in the refurbishment was actually more flammable and contributory to the inferno than the cladding tiles.

In a statement to the press, Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said “preliminary tests show the insulation samples collected from Grenfell Tower combusted soon after the tests started. The initial tests on the equivalent aluminium composite tiles failed also.” McCormack also confirmed that the police are now planning on investigating the manner in which the tiles were fixed to the building and how the installation process attributed to the fire.

Although the current death toll sits at 9 at the time of writing, it is expected to rise to 79 as more of the charred building becomes accessible to recovery teams. Manslaughter charges are currently being considered.

Thousands of households across the UK have been warned this week that the buildings they live in are also clad in similar flammable systems, or around 600 towers according to estimates from the Communities and Local Government. This is now a matter of high urgency to rectify, to prevent similar accidents happening in the future.

David Orr, Chief Executive at the National Housing Federation, said “Since the tragic fire that took place last Wednesday at Grenfell Tower, housing associations across the country have worked tirelessly to reassure tenants, carry out additional safety checks and, in London, offer support to the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

“Right now, housing associations are working closely with DCLG to identify and test any tower blocks with ACM (aluminium composite material) cladding. And, while the cause of the fire and its spread remains unconfirmed, housing associations will be scrupulous in carrying out other fire safety checks for example on sprinklers, smoke control systems and emergency procedures.

“We want to reassure residents of these blocks that testing on your building does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe, and in instances where cladding is found to be combustible, action will be taken.

“As always, the sector’s first priority is its residents. We will work in partnership with local authorities and fire services across the country to ensure people in tower blocks are safe and secure.”

Prime Minister Theresa May visited the scene this morning and witnessed the overwhelming devastation for herself. With many questions arising as to why the cladding allowed the fire to spread from the bottom of the tower to the top in just 15 minutes, she said that community around the Grenfell Tower are right to demand answers.

Confirming that an official enquiry will take place, she said “We need to ensure that this tragedy is fully investigated. People deserve answers. The inquiry will give them.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said “The Metropolitan Police have confirmed that tragically 17 people are now known to have died in the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower. Sadly this figure is likely to rise, and my thoughts and prayers remain with all those affected.

“Today the fire has been brought under control and the fire brigade and our other emergency services are continuing to work heroically. The operation is now shifting from the search and rescue phase to the recovery phase.

“Under these circumstances the full scale of the tragedy is becoming clear and there are pressing questions, which demand urgent answers.

This news follows the earlier announcement that fire checks will be carried out on all revamped blocks in the country.

Listen to the audio from Theresa May’s interview on the subject below:

Fatality figures are beginning to emerge at the 24-storey tower block blaze currently being tackled 200 by firefighters in West London today.

The inferno, which broke out in the early hours of morning and quickly engulfed the entire building, has put 50 people in hospital so far.

Grenfell tower at the Lancaster West Estate in Kensington is comprised of 120 homes and 600+ residents, many as of yet still inaccessible to firefighters.

Eyewitnesses have claimed that the rapid spread of fire seems to be due to the plastic cladding system.

The building itself recieved an £8.6m refurbishment in 2015 delivered by Contractor Rydon. As part of this, block of flats were externally fitted with new rain screen cladding, a new curtain wall façade and replacement windows to improving thermal insulation and aesthetics.

Contractor Harley Curtain Wall, who fitted the facade, fell into administration soon after.

More to follow.