Sussex firm carried out refurbishment of Grenfell Tower

Sussex firm Rydon, which carried out a £8.6 million refurbishment of the exterior of Grenfell Tower last year, installing cladding and new windows, said its work "met all required building control, fire regulation, and health and safety standards".

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Urgent removal of cladding, found to be fire risk in Portsmouth

Cladding on two tower blocks in Portsmouth was removed from the buildings today after tests found it to be a fire risk.

The city council sent samples from all of its high rises flats to the government following the Grenfell Tower disaster.


Premier Inn concerned about safety of cladding

A major hotel chain is carrying out an urgent review of fire safety after concerns about the cladding on its hotel in Maidenhead.

Premier Inn said it was 'extremely concerned' about the materials used - but assured guests - it was not the same as that used on Grenfell Towers.

The company said robust safety measures are in place and the hotel - opened by Theresa May - would remain open. Mary Stanley has our report.

Cladding to be removed from two high-rise buildings in Portsmouth

Portsmouth City Council is removing cladding from two high-rise buildings as a precautionary measure.

Following independent testing, cladding on Horatia House and Leamington House in Somerstown is being removed to ensure the highest safety standards are in place. No other blocks are affected.

Cllr Luke Stubbs, Deputy Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: "The safety of our residents is an absolute priority.

"Like all councils, we have been working with the government and fire service to review our buildings. As a precaution we submitted some cladding for testing and the results that came back said the cladding on Horatia House and Leamington House was a fire risk.

"As a result we are removing the cladding from those buildings. Protection of Portsmouth's residents is our number one priority and we will not comprise on safety standards.

"We will be removing the cladding as quickly as we can. In the meantime we would like to reassure residents we have conducted a full assessment of the buildings, with Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, and the buildings are safe to stay in with all of the existing safety measures still in place."

Thousands urged to contact Hotpoint after tower block fire

Police believe the blaze was started by a fridge freezer Credit: PA

Thousands of people have been urged to contact Hotpoint after police revealed the Grenfell Tower fire started in a faulty fridge-freezer manufactured by the company.

Hotpoint said 64,000 units of the same model were made between 2006 and 2009, when they were discontinued, adding that the number in circulation would be lower given the time period involved.

Scotland Yard has raised concerns with the Government over the fridge-freezer, but said the FF175BP model had never been subject to a product recall.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has ordered an immediate examination of the unit by technical experts to establish the cause of fault.

It added that there is "no specific reason" for people with one of these fridge-freezers to switch them off pending further investigation.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: "The device is being subject to immediate and rigorous testing to establish the cause of the fire. I have made clear to the company that I will expect them to replace any item without delay if it is established that there is a risk in using them."

The department advised consumers not overload plugs, ensure sockets are not damaged and to check cables and leads are in good condition.

Consumers who believe they may have a Hotpoint fridge-freezer with model number FF175BP or FF175BG have been encouraged to call a freephone hotline on 0800 316 3826 or visit to register their details.

A Hotpoint spokesman said: "Words cannot express our sorrow at this terrible tragedy. We offer our most profound condolences to the victims, those who have lost loved-ones, homes, and possessions, and to their friends and families.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those involved, including the emergency services who risked their lives to extinguish the blaze and rescue those in the building.

"We have just been informed that the fire may have originated in a Hotpoint fridge-freezer (model number FF175BP).

"We are working with the authorities to obtain access to the appliance so that we can assist with the ongoing investigations. Under these circumstances, we are unable to speculate on further details at this time.

"We are addressing this as a matter of utmost urgency and assisting the authorities in any way we can. We will provide additional updates as our investigations progress."

"Sprinkler systems must be installed in tower blocks"

Hampshire's former top fire chief has told ITV Meridian that sprinkler systems must be fitted in high-rise tower blocks - as standard.

Two of John Bonney's colleagues were killed in the Shirley Towers fire in Southampton in 2010. He spoke to Fred and Sangeeta.


Meetings across South to discuss tower blocks

Meetings have been held across the South today to discuss safety in high rise flats following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London. It's now thought the number of victims could reach more than 70. The Queen visited the scene today and paid tribute to the bravery of firefighters and the "incredible generosity" of volunteers offering support. Across the region, there are calls for sprinklers to be fitted in all high rise flats. Mary Stanley reports.

Tower block residents seek safety advice

Around 24,000 people sought safety advice from Hampshire Fire and Rescue in the hours following the London tower block blaze. Fred and Sangeeta link to a report by Christine Alsford.

Region's MPs involved in emergency meeting

The new parliament isn't up and running yet, but Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a full public inquiry into the Grenfell blaze.

New housing minister Alok Sharma, the MP for Reading West, was at an emergency meeting at Westminster - listening to MPs' concerns - including those of the new Brighton MP. Our Political Correspondent Phil Hornby reports.

Tower block residents fear for their safety

Tower block residents in Southampton say they fear for their safety following the deadly fire at the Grenfell Tower in London.

Council bosses are writing to residents at Southampton's 18 tower blocks to reassure them that rigorous safety measures are in place - and that new exterior cladding on buildings IS fireproof. Richard Slee reports.

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