GENERIC: courtroom, court

A lawsuit filed in the United States says faulty building materials helped spread a fire at London's Grenfell Tower in 2017.

Nearly 250 relatives of victims and survivors joined the suit, which targets U.S. companies that made products used at the complex.

The blaze started in a refrigerator and raced up the side of the 24-story building two years ago June 14, killing 72 people.

The plaintiffs' lawyers say the exterior cladding was made of highly flammable material that can't be used in U.S. skyscrapers.

The suit names refrigerator maker Whirlpool, cladding manufacturer Arconic Inc. and insulation maker Celotex. 

Two of the companies named in the suit released statements expressing their "deepest sympathies" to those affected.

Whirlpool says in its statement that two investigations found "no evidence of any fault" with the refrigerator model in the apartment where the blaze began.

U.K.-based Celotex says it remains committed to working with British authorities.

Celotex's parent company, Saint-Gobain, says it was surprised to see a lawsuit filed in the U.S. since the Celotex insulation referenced in the suit was manufactured and sold in the U.K.

The lawsuit was filed in a state court in Philadelphia on Tuesday. 

It will be up to a jury to decide how much money to award.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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