Families whose homes were destroyed and lives turned upside down by the blaze which ripped through their tower block in Shepherd’s Bush are taking legal action against Whirlpool after the cause of the fire was found to be a faulty tumble dryer.

A London Fire Brigade (LFB) investigation concluded the inferno was started by an Indesit tumble dryer subject to a safety notice.

The families and LFB also want Whirlpool, Indesit’s parent company, to change the advice it is offering owners of its machines which are awaiting repairs.

But in a statement Whirlpool made no mention of changing its position - it currently tells people the appliances are safe to use as long as they are not left unattended - and instead said its own investigation into the cause of the fire was ongoing.

On-lookers fear for trapped residents

Video thumbnail, Shepherds Bush fire trapped people
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Twenty fire engines and 120 firefighters were needed to bring the huge fire under control.

It began at 3.20pm on August 19, on the seventh floor flat of Debbie Defreitas, who was at home at the time.

Despite intense flames spreading across several floors, destroying homes and forcing families into temporarily homes, there were no deaths and only three people required treatment from paramedics at the scene.

According to law firm Leigh Day, which is representing five families affected by the blaze, an engineer was due to visit the Ms Defreitas’ property just a few days after the fire to carry out the necessary modifications to the appliance.

The aftermath of a fire which LFB has concluded was caused by a tumble dryer

Solicitor Tom Jervis, from the firm’s product liability team, said it is possible more people could take legal action: “We are bringing a product liability case - under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 - on the grounds that the affected machines are allegedly defective.

"This is a possible group action that would allow other affected people to join.

“This fire has had a huge impact on our clients’ lives and they are all still out of their homes .

“We are urging Whirlpool to change its advice to avoid the potential of human life being put at risk by any further fires.”

In its statement, Whirlpool said its thoughts were with the families.

But it continued: “While we understand that London Fire Brigade 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.

Video thumbnail, LFB Watch Manager on the Shepherd's Bush tower block fire
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“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.

"We continue to cooperate fully with the relevant regulatory authority as progress of the campaign is regularly monitored and reviewed.”

MP Andy Slaughter raised the white goods recall issue during a debate in Parliament in September.

It urged anyone who owns an Indesit, Hotpoint or Creda dryer manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015 to check if their dryer is affected and then register for a free modification if it is.

Checks can be made by clicking here or here or calling 0800 151 0905.