The Latest: 7 UK buildings found with combustible cladding

A protester holds a sign demanding justice for the victims of the deadly fire at Grenfell Tower apartment block as people gather in central London Wednesday June 21, 2017. Activists are planning a mass “Day of Rage” demonstration during the state opening of parliament Wednesday, to draw attention to various issues. (AP Photo / Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the London high-rise fire (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office says combustible cladding has so far been found on seven high-rise blocks in England after tests ordered by the government.

The British leader said earlier Thursday that tests were being carried out on cladding on apartment blocks across the country because of concerns that the building material helped spread the fire that engulfed Grenfell Tower in west London in the early hours of June 14. At least 79 people died in the blaze.

May had earlier told lawmakers that three samples had tested as being combustible.


11:40 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office says that around 600 buildings in England have cladding similar to the type blamed for the quick spread of flames in the London high-rise disaster.

Councils in England made the estimate as authorities desperately try to get a grip on the scale of the issue facing local authorities following the blaze at Grenfell Tower that killed at least 79 people on June 14.

The cladding on the building has been singled out for scrutiny because the blaze engulfed the building in less than an hour. That has surprised fire officials, who have wondered aloud how a 24-story building could become an inferno so quickly.

May has also announced that the investigation into whether the tower met fire safety regulations will be published in the next 48 hours.


10 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says initial tests on other high-rise buildings after the London fire tragedy have shown that the cladding on some of them is combustible.

May told the House of Commons on Thursday that tests are being conducted on cladding in similar buildings following the Grenfell Tower fire on June 14 that killed at least 79 people. The aluminum composite material is being studied to see if it contributed to the blaze, which spread in less than an hour to 24 stories.

May says tests have determined that some of those tiles were “combustible.”

The British leader has apologized for mistakes made in dealing with the aftermath of Grenfell Tower tragedy.


9:30 a.m.

The local administrator in the west London community devastated by a high-rise apartment fire has resigned after government officials criticized the speed of the response to the devastating blaze that killed at least 79 people.

Nicholas Holgate, chief executive of the Kensington and Chelsea council, had come under intense pressure in the wake of last week’s Grenfell Tower blaze. The first few days after the June 14 inferno were marked by chaos on the ground as local authorities struggled to deal with the scope of the aftermath.

Residents who survived the tower blaze lost everything, only to get little help or information on how they’d get back on their feet.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to address the response to the fire in Parliament on Thursday.