The man whose faulty fridge apparently sparked the Grenfell Tower blaze has told friends he is “haunted” by what happened.
It has been claimed that dad-of-one Behailu Kebede raised the alarm after the fire engulfed his one-bedroom flat.
He eventually fled the high-rise tower block and watched in horror as the flames took hold of the entire building.
The cabbie, 44, was interviewed by police and is now staying with friends.
One pal told the Mirror: “He is haunted by what happened. He’s just thankful he managed to alert his neighbours.
“Behailu contacted the police and told them everything. He is very shocked.
"He told me he saw smoke and straight away started knocking on the doors of his neighbours.”
Another friend told The Sun: “He has lived there for years and can’t cope because he knows so many of the dead and missing.
“He kept repeating over and over again, ‘People have lost their lives, I can’t bear it’.
“He’ll be blaming himself even though there was nothing he could do — and he had no way of knowing the block was a death trap.”
Behailu is originally from Ethiopia and has a son but is understood to have lived alone.
Neighbour Maryam Adam told how Behailu banged on her front door.
The 41-year-old, who is pregnant, said: “He said there was a fire in his flat.
“It was exactly 12.50am because I was sleeping and it woke me up. If he had not knocked we would be dead.
“The fire was small in the kitchen. I could see it because the flat door was open.
“He said, ‘You must go, there is a fire in my flat. There is a fire in my flat, please go out’.
“There was no alarm. We ran out and saw that the fire was already spreading.”
Grenfell Tower fire
Another neighbour, Aalya Moses, also praised Behailu for saving her life.
She said: “There was no alarm, no sprinkler, just my neighbour who told everyone on my floor and the surrounding floors.
"If he hadn’t told me I wouldn’t have known. The fire just went wild.”
The blaze started in the early hours of Wednesday as most people, many with young children, were in bed.
Dad-of-two Mahad Egal said the first he knew about the fire was when Mr Kebede knocked on his door.
Mr Egal said: “It was so dark. I wrapped some wet towels around the kids’ heads to protect them from the smoke and then we ran.
“Outside, we were confronted by my neighbour who said, ‘Are you OK? It was my flat. My fridge exploded.’”