London High-Rise fire

Authorities in London evacuated roughly 650 apartments in a high-rise complex overnight, citing fears that the complex bore many of the safety issues that Grenfell Tower did. Councilmembers for the London borough of Camden say it was the stark memory of the Grenfell blaze, which killed at least 79 people earlier this month, that spurred them to act.

The type of siding or "cladding" used on the Grenfell Tower in London — and suspected of feeding the massive fire that killed dozens of residents — is not allowed on the exterior of tall buildings across most of the U.S.

But a few states and the District of Columbia have relaxed building codes in recent years and have started to permit the use of some cladding containing components that don't pass a fire test.

The fire that devastated a 24-story apartment building last week began by accident — and the source was a refrigerator, London police say. Investigators have also found that materials used on Grenfell Tower's exterior failed safety tests.

"We now have expert evidence that the fire was not started deliberately — the fire started in a fridge-freezer — the make and model is a Hotpoint FF175BP," Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said Friday. She added that the refrigerator, which has a freezer on the bottom and refrigerator on top, has not been recalled.

"I'm afraid to say there are now 79 people that we believe are either dead" or presumed dead in London's Grenfell Tower fire, Metropolitan Police Cmdr. Stuart Cundy said Monday morning, in an update on the huge fire that overtook a 24-story building last week.

"Sadly, for many families, they have lost more than one family member," Cundy said. "This is an incredibly distressing time for all of them."

British authorities are launching a criminal investigation into the London apartment building fire — as the death toll from the blaze has nearly doubled, to 30.

The death toll is expected to rise further as rescue workers continue to search for victims – an operation that Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy described as "extremely challenging."

At least 17 people have died from the fire that engulfed a 24-story apartment building in London, police say, and the figure could rise further. Fire and rescue crews worked at Grenfell Tower throughout a second night, searching for victims in a building that is still smoldering.

"Our absolute priority for all of us is identifying and locating those that are missing," Cmdr. Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police Service said in an update Thursday. "My heart goes out to those that are trying to find loved ones, please get in contact and we will support you through this."

Updated at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Fire and rescue crews are fighting a blaze and searching for people who may have been trapped in a 24-story apartment building in London that was engulfed in fire overnight. At least 12 people have died from the fire, twice the original estimate, and that number is expected to rise further, The Associated Press reports.