The inquest into the deaths of two men in a fire linked to a faulty tumble dryer comes after a safety alert involving millions of potentially dangerous machines.
Doug McTavish, 39, and Bernard Hender, 19, died following the blaze in their flat on Ancaster Square, Llanrwst, North Wales.
A third man, Garry Lloyd Jones, survived the fire on October 10, 2014.
An investigation by North Wales Fire and Rescue Service found that the fire may have been caused by an electrical fault in a Hotpoint tumble dryer, according to solicitors representing the families of both men.
The inquest begins today.
In February, Whirlpool upgraded its warning in February to consumers with faulty Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda dryers to unplug their machines until they have been repaired.
The US firm updated its advice after receiving enforcement notices from Peterborough Trading Standards (PTS), which has been dealing with the alert involving a reported 5.3 million dryers as Whirlpool’s UK head office is in Peterborough.
The move followed consumer group Which? formally requesting a judicial review of PTS in December over its handling of the alert.
Various dryers made by Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda between April 2004 and September 2015 are subject to a safety notice about the fire risk, which is caused by excess fluff coming into contact with the heating element.
Fire chiefs warned in October that owners of the faulty dryers must stop using them immediately, after one of the machines was found to be the cause of a huge blaze in an 18-storey tower block in Shepherd’s Bush in London.
London Fire Brigade said they believed a faulty Indesit dryer was the cause of the August 19 blaze, following a “painstaking” investigation.
However, Whirlpool did not issue a product recall and stuck to urging those who own one of the affected dryers to register for a free modification, advising that the machines were safe to use providing they were not left unattended.
A number of groups, including the charity Electrical Safety First and the legal team acting for some of the families affected by the Shepherd’s Bush fire, have said Whirlpool’s move to finally advise consumers to unplug potentially faulty machines was “long overdue”.
Electrical Safety First warned that even with media coverage of “devastating” fires linked to the appliances, only 1.5 million affected customers had registered the fault, meaning many were still at risk.
Whirlpool now advises those with tumble dryers involved in the alert to unplug the machine and stop using it until a safety modification has been completed.
Consumers can check if their dryer is affected by visiting the Hotpoint, Indesit or Creda websites, and register their appliance for the free modification.