The death toll from this week’s Grenfell Tower highrise apartment fire in west London, England, has increased to 30.

“I do believe that the number will increase, sadly,” Metropolitan Police Cmdr. Stuart Cundy told reporters.

He said 24 people remain in hospital, including 12 in critical care.

Richard Mills, the fire brigade assistant commissioner, said stabilizing the gutted 24-storey building will continue in a “protracted” way.


The Queen and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, greet members of emergency services near Grenfell Tower on Friday. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

“The building itself is in a very hazardous state,” Cundy said. “It will take us a considerable period of time to fully work through Grenfell Tower over the coming weeks to ensure we complete our investigation within the building itself.”

The investigation will look in whether any crimes were committed, the police commander said. He added investigators have reached the spot where they believe the fire started and there is nothing to indicate it was deliberately lit.

A man who lived on the fourth floor has reportedly told his neighbours the blaze began in his apartment due to a faulty fridge.

Meanwhile, families searching for loved ones have blanketed an area near the tower with posters searching for answers to the blaze, which began shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The Queen and grandson Prince William arrived on Friday at a donation and rest centre near the highrise. They met with volunteers at the Westway Sports and Fitness Centre, as well as firefighters and police officers, and were shown the supplies donated to those made homeless.