Grieving father recalls his attempts to save his wife and five children in Neasden house fire
Inquest into six deaths opens at North London Coroner’s Court today
A grieving father has told of his attempts to save his family from a fire at his home which killed his wife and five of his children.
Bassam Kua, lost his wife Muna Elmufatish 41, daughters Hanin Kua, 14, Basma 13 Amal, nine and sons Yeha, two and Mustafa, five in the fire, which ripped through their family home in Sonia Gardens, Neasden, on Septmber 24 last year.
The 51-year-old, who is plagues by nightmares, and his 16-year-old daughter Nur were the only two to survive the blaze.
An inquest into the deaths opened at North London Coroner’s Court today (Monday).
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In a statement which was read out Mr Kua said he was woken up by a smoke alarm and remembered seeing his landing filled with smoke.
He rushed outside to find help and saw daughter Nur lying on the floor with parts of the first floor window around her.
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After trying to put out the fire with a garden hose he then went back into the house.
He told the inquest: “There was thick smoke everywhere and I had to feel my way around, I know the layout of the house but I couldn’t find anyone.
“I kept running outside and calling for help and going back in but I didn’t get an answer.”
The statement also revealed that he had seen fire-fighters carry Mustafa out of the property but that he had died.
A fridge freezer in the family’s downstairs landing is thought to be responsible for the start of the fire.
Mr Kua described seeing flames ‘higher than his head’ emanating from the back of the freezer, a Whirlpool brand. However, Mr Kua said there had never been any fault with it before.
He told the court his family would occasionally burn incense sticks and candles but had not for a number of months.
Mohammed Chughtai, who lives in the house opposite, said he heard screaming but ignored it before checking outside.
He said: “I heard stuff but I just thought it was your average Friday night noise. Eventually I looked outside and saw fire coming from every window.
“I went out into the street at tried to break the door down with the father, he was crying and his face was black from the smoke, the fire brigade came and told us to stop.”
The inquest continues.