UK

Grenfell Tower inquiry: Victim's son 'prays for death'

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Media captionHamid Ali Jafari says he prays for death so that he can join his father Ali in heaven

A man whose father died in Grenfell Tower has told the inquiry into the fire he prays for death so he can join him in heaven.

Hamid Ali Jafari was moved to tears as he recalled searching for 82-year-old Ali Yawar Jafari after the blaze.

He added it sometimes felt his father's soul was present in his own son.

Ali Yawar Jafari, who lived on 11th floor with his wife, was described as a "real hero" for alerting neighbours to the blaze as it spread.

Sitting alongside his mother and two sisters, Hamid said: "I think the happiest moment he had was when my son was born, because he was attached to him a lot.

"Both of them were connected to each other."

He added: "When I am holding him I feel I am holding my dad because I can still smell my dad on my son."

Image copyright Grenfell Inquiry
Image caption Ali Yawar Jafari was described as a "real hero" for his actions on the night

His voice breaking, Hamid told the inquiry: "I have never dreamed or thought of going to heaven but now I fight every day, every second, because I want to join my dad.

"And I pray every day - and even I request my friends to pray for me - that I die soon to meet my father."

Mr Jafari moved to the UK in 2003 from Afghanistan, where he worked as a jeweller. He died while trying to escape from Grenfell Tower after becoming separated from his wife and daughter.

Referring to the days after the fire, Hamid recalled walking around the tower "to share my feelings with my father" but also the "hopelessness".

In a video tribute, Mr Jafari was described by his family as a "kind person and a kind husband".

They recalled his love for travel and animals, and how he once freed a pigeon whose legs were trapped in twine.

His daughter Maria said they were unable to show more happy photos to the inquiry because their memories had been lost in the fire on 14 June last year, which killed 72 people.

Besotted with granddaughter

Anthony Disson - known as Tony - who lived on the 22nd floor, was also remembered.

In a video tribute featuring his wife Cordelia and their sons Harry, Alfie and Charlie, he was described as a "good dad, a brilliant husband and a wonderful granddad".

Image copyright Grenfell Inquiry
Image caption Anthony Disson with his granddaughter Talleulah

Mr Disson, 65, was said to have been "besotted with" his granddaughter Talleulah. She used to call him "dan-dad".

Even now, she still talks about her "dan-dad", Cordelia said.

Mr Disson was involved in the boxing gym at the bottom of the tower, where his sons trained.

"He loved his flat and he loved that he was still in the same area that he had grown up in," Mr Disson's son from a previous relationship, Lee, said in a statement.

He also recalled searching for his father everywhere and putting his name down as "missing".

"My heart was sinking but I prayed Dad had got out, or wasn't at home that night," he said.

At the inquiry

Marie Jackson, BBC News

On the third morning of tributes from families, the chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick has been a quiet presence.

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Media captionGrenfell Tower inquiry: What questions will be answered?

Sitting upright, light-framed glasses perched on his nose, he holds a pen in one hand and rests the other on top, listening intently from a makeshift desk set up on the stage.

As tearful relatives conclude tributes to their loved ones, sometimes in sorrow, sometimes with laughter, Sir Martin joins in the applause and nods reassuringly.

"I feel you get to know the man through your tributes, " he told the family of Anthony Disson.

"Very powerful," he remarked as Hamid, son of Ali Yawar Jafari, shared how he could barely look his mother in the eye since the tragedy.

To the young Aiasha Mohamed, who read her mother's long and deeply-moving tribute to her sister Rania Ibrahim on camera, he said it had been profoundly moving.

"It must have taken a lot of effort to make it," he told her.

'Smart, warm and caring'

Zainab Deen, 32, and her two-year-old son Jeremiah, were found at each other's side on the 14th floor.

In a statement read by barrister Michael Mansfield QC, her father said they could not find a reason "why such a handsome and cheerful boy was taken from us at the age of two".

Image copyright Grenfell Inquiry

Zainab came to Britain from Sierra Leone as a child.

Her father said: "Zainab had it all. She was beautiful, smart, warm, caring and a confident and outgoing young woman. Her untimely death has left us heartbroken."

They also remembered "beautiful grandson" Jeremiah, saying: "We will focus on how happy he made us when he was in our lives."

PM on cladding ban

At Prime Minister's Questions, Theresa May said the government must take the "strongest possible action" to prevent another Grenfell tower tragedy.

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Media captionMay: We'll take "strongest possible action" to stop another Grenfell Tower tragedy

She said the government is "minded to go further" than recommendations in Dame Judith Hackitt's report into building regulations by banning combustible materials in cladding on high-rise buildings.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in response that "justice had not yet been done" as some of the building's residents are still in temporary accommodation.

Heart-breaking loss

Gary Maunders was remembered as a devoted family man with a great personality.

The 57-year-old painter and decorator was from the North Kensington area although he did not live at Grenfell Tower and had been visiting a friend on the 19th floor on the night of the fire.

Image copyright Grenfell Tower Inquiry

Ana Pumar, the mother of his two youngest children, said: "Sadly for us, future milestones will be reached without having their father present, and future memories will not involve their father which is heart-breaking for us."

His nieces, Chanel and Kenita Spence, grew up with Mr Maunders in their family home.

In a video featuring photographs from his life and the music of his favourite singer Marvin Gaye, they said he was more like a big brother than an uncle and "the pain of losing him is indescribable".

They said he loved football and making people laugh - an old-fashioned soul with values and respect for all.

The Manchester United fan was a talented footballer in his youth and once had the chance of becoming professional for Arsenal, they added.

Great dancer

Marjorie Vital, 68, and her son Ernie, 50, lived on the 19th floor.

Image copyright Grenfel Inquiry

Ms Vital's surviving son did not wish to speak or be present at the inquiry, but instead created a short film that was shown.

He said his mother was a full-time seamstress, who would make clothes for herself so she could afford to buy clothes for her sons.

His brother was a great dancer who loved Earth Wind and Fire.

The pair were found in a top-floor flat of the building.

Over footage showing the charred wreckage of a former flat inside the tower, he said he had imagined his brother carrying his mother to the top floor when no other escape route was possible.

He said: "We now have the evidence that their bodies were fused together in the intensity of the fire... It symbolised to me, their level of closeness that they had."

Ms Vital's sister, Paula Bellot, said in a statement they had lost touch in the months before the fire but never thought they would not have the opportunity to patch things up.

She said her sister had come to London from Dominica as a teenager and lived with their parents in North Kensington before moving to Grenfell Tower, where she was "very proud" of her home.

'Lived life to the fullest'

The day's proceedings opened with more commemorations to Rania Ibrahim, 30, and her daughters Fathia, four, and Hania, three, who lived on the 23rd floor of the building.

A tribute from Rania's older sister Sayeeda, was read in a video to the inquiry.

Image copyright Grenfell Inquiry
Image caption Rania Ibrahim and her daughters Fathia, known as Fou-Fou, and Hania, lived on the 23rd floor of Grenfell Tower

"I am so grateful and proud to have her as my sister," she said.

"I raised her to be a strong, brave woman. She lived her life to the fullest."

Mrs Ibrahim said her sister came to the UK in 2009 from Egypt to look after her when she fell ill, and would be at the forefront of the fight for justice, had she survived the fire.

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