The Ethiopian taxi driver whose faulty fridge is alleged to have caused the Grenfell inferno said he will be forever haunted by what happened.
Behailu Kebede, a father of one, raised the alarm after flames took hold in his flat at number 16 on the fourth floor.
A friend who spoke to Mr Kebede shortly after the tragic ordeal said the experience was ‘tearing him apart’ and that he was ‘blaming himself even though there was nothing he could do.’
Another said that Mr Kebede, described as a ‘warm and gentle’ person, was ‘haunted’ by the fire but was relieved that he had managed to warn his neighbours in time.
His neighbour 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.’