London

Faulty tumble dryer 'caused Shepherd's Bush tower block fire'

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Media captionThe incident took 120 firefighters to bring under control but there were no injuries

A faulty tumble dryer subject to a safety notice was the cause of a tower block fire, an investigation has found.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it believed the faulty Indesit appliance was the cause of the blaze in Shepherd's Bush in August.

The LFB said parent company Whirlpool should change its advice to customers so that any dryers waiting to be modified are not used.

Whirlpool said the safety of consumers "is our number one priority".

Image copyright London Fire Brigade
Image caption The fire-damaged appliance was examined in a specialist laboratory

The blaze engulfed part of the 18-storey high rise block and took 120 firefighters to bring under control. No on was injured.

Dave Brown, director of operations at LFB, said: "This fire has highlighted just how dangerous faulty white goods can be.

"Disappointingly though, Whirlpool have still not changed their advice to consumers."

A Whirlpool spokesman said: "While we understand that LFB has concluded its investigation into the incident, Whirlpool's independent forensic investigations are still ongoing and in the circumstances, it would be inappropriate to comment further."

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Media captionAs Simon Gompertz reports, owners are being told they can still use their dryers - but must clean the filter every time and not leave unattended

"The safety of consumers is our number one priority and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that the tumble dryer modification programme is carried out in a safe and timely manner."

Consumer Minister Margot James said: "Customer safety must be the number one priority for manufacturers.

"I acknowledge that Whirlpool are making great efforts to modify and replace at-risk machines, but I believe additional action is required to reassure customers and the public.

"I will be writing to the company to set out my concerns and expectations."

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