Father and husband of Neasden fire victims ‘satisfied’ with inquest verdict

Statement issued through family’s solicitors pays tribute to London Fire Brigade and friends and family

A father who was rocked by the death of five members of his family after a fire tore through his home in Neasden, has said he is satisfied with the verdict following an inquest into their deaths.

Bassam Kua, 52, lost his wife Muna Elmufatish 41, daughters Hanin Kua, 14, Basma 13, Amal, nine and sons Yeha, two and Mustafa, five in the fire, in Sonia Gardens in September last year.

He and 17-year-old daughter Nur, were the only two to survive the blaze.

The inquest into their deaths, which concluded yesterday at North London Coroner’s Court, found a faulty fridge freezer was to blame.

The statement, released through Mr Kua’s solicitors said: “The Kua family would like to express their thanks to their friends, neighbours and community for the support and kindness they have received following this devastating incident.

“They would particularly like to thank the London Fire Brigade (LFB) both for their assistance on the night of the fire and throughout the subsequent investigation.

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“The inquest process has been difficult for all involved but the family are satisfied with the verdict.”

LFB described the fire, as the “worst they had seen in a decade.”

The inquest ruled that a capacitor inside the freezer, a Whirlpool brand, bought in 2002 failed and caught fire.

The fire then spread to an adjacent compressor, housed in plastic, and as a result the fire was fuelled and spread through the house.

Coroner Andrew Walker, giving a narrative verdict, added that the freezer had been manufactured at a time when housing for compressors had been changed from steel to plastic.

He said had it remained as steel housing it was ‘likely’ the fire would not have spread.

The statement, on behalf of Mr Kua, continued: “Today our thoughts remain with the Kua family as they continue to come to terms with their loss.”

Coroner Walker confirmed he would be issuing a report to various industry bodies regarding the materials used to house this type of capacitor with the intention of alerting the industry to the risk and to reduce the likelihood of this kind of tragedy ever happening again.