NO BLAME FOR MAN WHO LIVED IN FLAT WHERE GRENFELL DISASTER FIRE STARTED
The man who lived in the flat where the Grenfell Tower fire started has been cleared of any blame by the inquiry into the disaster. Survivors had previously urged chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick to formally exonerate Behailu Kebede, who was offered police protection after false reports of his culpability circulated online.
The retired judge said the resident, who lived in flat 16, bore no blame for the fire, which he found started in a faulty fridge-freezer in his home.
"I consider the cause and origin of the fire and find that it was started by an electrical fault in a large fridge-freezer in the kitchen of Flat 16, for which Behailu Kebede bears no blame," Sir Martin wrote.
"None of those who examined the large fridge-freezer, or the kitchen of Flat 16 more generally, found any evidence to suggest that the fire had been started deliberately or that it had been caused by an improvised or inexpert attempt to repair a defect in the appliance.
"Whatever the origin of the initial fire, the evidence indicates that it was accidental. Mr Kebede in particular bears no blame for what occurred in his flat, much less for the catastrophic events that followed.
"On the contrary, he did exactly what a responsible person might be expected to do in the circumstances and his presence of mind in switching off the electricity as he left the flat enabled important evidence to be gathered about the origin of the fire."
Grenfell United, a group which represents some of the victims of the fire, welcomed the findings.
A spokeswoman said: "We are glad to read this report totally exonerates our neighbour in flat 16.
"The Whirlpool fridge started the fire and our neighbour did everything he could do try to stop it and raise the alarm.
"He is long overdue an apology from media and corporates that tried to scapegoat him."Published: by Radio NewsHub