09/27/2011 06:28 am ET Updated Nov 27, 2011

Neasden House Fire 'Caused By Freezer'

A house fire which killed five children and their mother is believed to have been caused by a freezer, the fire service has said.

Muna Elmufatish, 41, daughters Hanin Kua, 14, Basma, 13, Amal, nine, and sons Mustafa, five, and Yehya, two, died when their London home was engulfed in flames in the early hours of Saturday.

London Fire Brigade said the family's chest freezer, stored in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs, was most likely to have started the house fire which became the capital's worst in more than a decade.

An inquest into the deaths has now been opened and adjourned.

A spokesman for London Fire Brigade said: "Six people died and two people were seriously injured in a blaze that started in the early hours of Saturday morning in a two-storey semi-detached house on Sonia Gardens in Neasden.

"Fire investigators believe that a chest freezer, which was in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs, may have caused the fire. The make of the chest freezer is not known at this stage."

Post-mortem examinations found that the six victims died from inhalation of fumes. The children's father, Bassam Kua, 51, and their 16-year-old sister, Nur, escaped the flames but remain in hospital. The girl is critical but stable and her father is in a stable condition.

Investigations continue into what caused the devastating fire which police do not believe was suspicious.

London Fire Brigade is to launch a fire safety blitz across the capital in the wake of the deaths, supported by a Facebook campaign. This will begin with a pilot programme in secondary schools in Brent, the borough where the fire happened.

The inquest was adjourned to February 16.