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Lawyer Calls For Owner of Apartment Sparking Grenfell Blaze to be Cleared

© Sputnik / Jenny McCallGrenfell Tower fire
Grenfell Tower fire - Sputnik International
Almost exactly a year on from the disaster, the man in whose apartment the fire started still faces damaging accusations of responsibility, according to his lawyer.

The inquiry into the causes and responsibility for the June 2017 Grenfell Tower blaze which killed at least 71 residents, has heard calls from the lawyer of the owner of the apartment in which the blaze began to be formally cleared of any responsibility for the disaster.

Mr. Behailu Kebede, originally from Ethiopia, lived in the 16th apartment on the fourth floor of the North Kensington block which has been identified as the fire's point of origin.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017 - Sputnik International
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In his evidence to the inquiry, Mr. Kebede's lawyer Rajiv Menon said, "Mr Kebede hopes that having heard all the evidence, the inquiry will make a clear and unequivocal statement that Mr Kebede was absolutely blameless for the outbreak of the fire, its spread and its fatal consequences," lawyer Rajiv Menon said according to Reuters.

Mr. Menon continued, claiming that his client was the victim of "sleazy accusations" implying that he was in some way culpable for the fire which engulfed the building and led to the UK's worst loss of life in a housing disaster since the Second World War.

"If the inquiry does not explicitly exonerate Mr Kebede all the sleazy accusations and hurtful innuendo, all the racist assumptions and ignorance about Mr Kebede that currently prevail will continue unabated," Mr. Menon continued.

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Attention quickly turned to the cladding used to fire-proof the building which seemed instead to have enabled the fire to spread more rapidly throughout the structure.

The blaze caused an outcry in Britain over the state of lower-income and government provided housing and has led to investigations into hundreds of apartment blocks across the country which have found the same kind of hazardous cladding.

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