Faulty tumble dryer caused tower block fire, investigators find


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

London Fire Brigade renewed its campaign to make white goods safer following a "painstaking" investigation into the blaze in an 18 story building in Shepherd's Bush in August, which took 120 firefighters to bring under control.

The brigade said it believed a faulty Indesit tumble dryer was the cause, adding that parent company Whirlpool should change its advice to customers so that any dryers waiting to be modified are not used.

London Fire Brigade's Director of Operations Dave Brown said: "This fire has highlighted just how dangerous faulty white goods can be. Disappointingly though, Whirlpool have still not changed their advice to consumers.

"Following the conclusion of our investigation we are now appealing once again for them to change their advice and bring it into line with our own. Thankfully there were no serious injuries in the Shepherd's Bush fire but we may not be so lucky if it happens again.

"It was vital that we conducted such a robust and systematic investigation to get a clear picture of what happened. Following an exhaustive examination of the scene and the remains of the appliance by our specialist fire investigators we remain satisfied the cause was the faulty dryer."

Alex Neill of consumer group Which? commented: "London Fire Brigade's investigation into the Shepherd's Bush fire highlights the urgent need for the Government to review the Whirlpool case and set out how it is going to improve safety for affected customers."

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.

"I am also creating a new Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety to look at what more can be done to improve the safety of white goods, including tumble dryers."