The man ‘whose faulty fridge started tower inferno’: Neighbour reveals how Ethiopian taxi driver raised the alarm when deadly blaze started in his fourth-floor kitchen
This is the mini-cab driver whose faulty fridge is alleged to have started the Grenfell Tower inferno.
Behailu Kebede, a father of one, raised the alarm after flames took hold in his flat at number 16 on the fourth floor.
Maryann Adam, 41, who lived at number 14, told how Mr Kebede banged on her front door in the early hours of Wednesday to tell her that there was a fire in his kitchen.
She said: ‘He knocked on the door, and he said there was a fire in his flat. It was exactly 12.50am because I was sleeping and it woke me up.
‘The fire was small in the kitchen. I could see it because the flat door was open. There was no alarm.’
Mr Kebede friend Eshete Meried said the 44-year-old taxi driver originally from Ethiopia, escaped the building – but was still in shock.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Mr Meried said: ‘Behailu did raise the alarm, that is what I am hearing.
‘He is fine but he is not in a position to talk about anything right now. I understand that he in a temporary shelter, staying with friends.’
Another friend said Mr Kebede had spoken to police who are investigating the fire.
Maryam left her phone with her belongings in her flat and has been unable to check on other residents. She later attended the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital after feeling dizzy, but was given the all-clear.
Speaking today from emergency accommodation close to the scene of the disaster, Mr Kebede told of his distress at witnessing the very beginning of the inferno, which it is feared to claimed more than 100 lives.
He told MailOnline: ‘I am very upset’. Asked whether the fire started in his flat by MailOnline Mr Kebede replied: ‘I’m busy, I’m busy. Goodbye.’