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Fridge-freezer fire to blame for father's death, inquest rules

A coroner will urge the Government to overhaul consumer safety standards after a father who was able to save his two children died from a fire caused by a faulty fridge-freezer.

The man who died, Santosh Benjamin Muthiah, owned a type of appliance that had caused fires as far back as 2003.

An inquest found that the Beko fridge-freezer caught fire while the family slept.

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Blaze widow: We trusted faulty freezer would be safe

A widow has called for manufacturers and retailers to be more accountable after a faulty Beko fridge-freezer led to a house fire that killed her husband.

Santosh Benjamin Muthiah died in the 2010 blaze in Wealdstone.

Jennifer Benjamin said she and husband Santosh had "trusted the manufacturer for a safe product" and criticised the response to safety concerns.

"Manufacturers, producers and their retailers should be held more accountable for their actions, or their lack of response to consumer safety concerns. The value of a human life is priceless," she said.

Mrs Benjamin paid tribute to her husband as a respected professional and a doting father to the two children he died trying to save.

When he married me, I was a very reserved and quiet Indian girl. He has left me a brave widow. Not a day passes by where we do not think or speak about him.

– Jennifer Benjamin

Beko says it is confident it and its staff acted appropriately at all times.

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