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Grenfell fire flat resident says police feared for his safety after 'distorted' press reports

THE RESIDENT of the flat in which the Grenfell Tower fire started said yesterday that police wanted to place him in witness protection after “distorted” press reports.

Behailu Kebede gave a statement to the public inquiry through his lawyer, saying inaccurate media coverage had portrayed him “like a criminal who was to blame for the fire.” 

Police feared for Mr Kebede’s safety after false suggestions that he caused the fire by tampering with his fridge-freezer or that he had packed a bag before escaping were printed.

Mr Kebede said police “offered to take me to an unknown address outside London for my own protection.

“As a result of the media intrusion, my partner and children were forced to move out of their home.

“The four of us have been living together in various hotels ever since.”

Mr Kebede added he had been unable to “pay my respects to the deceased” because he “believed that there were people out there who wanted to hurt my family and me.”

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