Failed freezer caused fire tragedy

A house fire that caused the death of a mother and her five children last year was caused when a freezer failed, a coroner has found.

Muna Elmufatish, 41, daughters Hanin Kua, 14, Basma, 13, Amal, nine, and sons Mustafa, five, and Yehya, two, died in the fire in September last year.

The inquest into their deaths at North London Coroner's Court in Barnet heard that the family were all asleep when the blaze engulfed their home in the early hours of September 24, 2011.

Coroner Andrew Walker found that all five died as a result of "inhalation of fire fumes".

The fire started when a capacitor adjacent to a compressor in a compartment in a freezer failed and caught fire.

The freezer was manufactured at time when the housing to the compressor and capacitor had been changed from a pressed steel to a plastic housing.

Had the compressor been housed in a pressed steel compartment it is likely the fire would not have reached the insulation.

The fire did reach the insulation and was fuelled by it - it spread upstairs where the family were.

– Coroner Andrew Walker issued a narrative verdict

Mr Walker also said that Muna Elmufatish had tried to save her children after she was woken by the fire. Only her husband Bassam Kua and his daughter Nur, 17, escaped the property in Neasden and they were treated in hospital. Bassam Kua, 52, braved the fire as he tried to save his family.

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Neasden fire inquest

A father has told an inquest how he tried to save the lives of five children and his wife, when flames engulfed their Neasden home.