'Bereft' mum reveal daughter's heartbreaking last text just hours before she was killed in Grenfell blaze

Miriam Lamprill's emotional statement for her daughter Debbie was read out this morning on the second day of the public inquiry into the tragedy.

She said: "The night she died she texted me, ‘I’ve got in mum, alls well, goodnight, god bless’ I thought ‘that’s OK she’s safe’. I went to bed, I got up in the morning and I didn’t have a daughter.

“I am bereft without her, if she’d died a normal death I would have been able to hold her, comfort her and say goodbye, but I feel a part of me has been ripped out. Nothing seems worth it anymore."

The public inquiry into the tragedy opened yesterday with 72 poignant seconds of silence, as those in the room stood to pay tribute to every victim of the fire.

Hundreds were made homeless and dozens killed on June 14, as flames quickly and fiercely took over the building full of sleeping families after a fire broke out in a flat kitchen.

The woman who live-streamed her final moments as the top floor of Grenfell Tower was engulfed with flames, three generations of the same family and the woman who never left hospital after escaping the fire are to be paid tribute to today.

Grieving friends and family will tell the stories of 12 more people lost to the blaze which tore through the West London tower block last year.

Today the loved ones of Debbie Lamprell, Maria del Pilar Burton, Rania Ibrahim, Fethia Hassan, Hania Hassan, Sirria Choucair, Nadia Choucair, Bassem Choucair, Mierna Choucair, Fatima Choucair, Zainab Choucair and Hesham Rahman will speak on their behalf.

The age of these 12 victims range from three years old to 74 – all died as a result of the fire almost a year ago.

Debbie Lamprill

Debbie's mum, Miriam, wrote an emotional statement about her only daughter which was read to the inquiry.

In it she described herself and her late husband, Reg, as "blessed".

She said: "When I think of Debbie I think of her laughing, she was always laughing.

"In many ways she had a blissful childhood, not because it was privilege but because we were always happy."

Debbie was a sports fan, and in particular, a Spurs fan – she would watch matches with her dad.

The 45-year-old loved hospitality and worked at Opera Holland Park, where an inscribed stone has been placed at the spot she would sit and watch performances.

Miriam added: "She would come and visit me every Saturday and bring me two scratchcards and she would say 'I really don’t know why I bring you these, we are so lucky'.

“My neighbour from downstairs said she knew when Debbie was visiting as they could hear the laughter.

“It wasn’t until I lost Debbie I realised how many friends she had, and what she meant to people.”

Maria del Pilar Burton (Pily)

Maria, known as Pily, was described as a music, food and life lover, by her husband.

Wearing a green Grenfell heart pin he spoke warmly and emotionally of his partner for 34 years.

He broke down as he remembered breaking the news to her that everything in their flat was gone – including her parents' ashes.

Pilly died in January and became the fire's 72nd victim – she never left hospital after escaping the flames.

Nick, her husband, said: "She danced to everything, you couldn’t stop her. You couldn’t actually stop the whole family.

"Food was very important, Pilly’s paella was internationally known, everyone came to our house wanting paella.

“We really had a fantastic life, brilliant neighbours, like Debbie Lamprill, who was always in our house nattering with Pily.
"I love my wife and I was in complete awe of her, because the world generally revolved around her. Wherever she went everyone was for Pily. She wasn’t a princess, she was just a people’s person.

“It’s difficult to comprehend how many lives she affected.”

“On the night of the fire, I was with my wife, we had both fallen asleep on the sofa watching a DVD. I woke to discover the building was on fire.

“It was impossible to carry my wife down about 40 flights of stairs, so we had to wait to be rescued. During the rescue she had to be carried out by about 4 firefighters, emerging comatose."

After months of hospitalisation the 74-year-old had a stroke and later died after Nick kept a vigil in a private room – she took her last breath as her son walked into the room.

Nick told the inquiry: "I am truly blessed that I had 34 years with such a person, we had fun, we laughed, got to go through life together and it was wonderful.”

“No matter what indignities my wife had to suffer, my Pily was perfect.

Rania Ibrahim, Fethia Hassan and Hania Hassan

Rania and her two daughters were killed when they were trapped at the top of Grenfell Tower.

The young mum from Egypt live-streamed her last moments as it became clear she would not escaped the horrifying fire.

The 30-year-old's sister, Rasha, who last saw the family in January 2017, wrote a statement to be read at the inquiry.

She said: "It’s very difficult for me to think or talk about what came next, it has been so hard.

"After that terrible night came a cruel time of false hopes and rumours.

"I came here thinking I would be able to lay my loved ones to rest but there were months of uncertainty before they were identified and buried.

“It is so important for me to understand how it could come about that I have lost Rania, my beloved sister, while my children, who are so young, have lost their little cousins.

"I cannot lay them to rest yet.”

In a short film showing pictures of the family, Rasha added: "Since the time of the incident I hear Rania’s voice in my head all the time.

“I still write to her and talk to her all the time, even though she’s departed.

“She used to love life so much, she was all about being positive and active. She was happiness on earth. I feel broken.”

Yesterday the inquiry heard from a heartbroken dad who held his stillborn son – the youngest victim of the blaze.

Emotional Marcio Gomes told the inquiry how he learnt his "superstar" baby boy was stillborn as his wife and daughter lay in comas after escaping the flames from the 21st floor.

It comes as the boss of the construction company behind the refurbishment of the tower has said his firm did not test the cladding because it was thought to comply with regulations.

When it was suggested it was his job to make Grenfell Tower safe, Robert Bond, chief executive of Rydon, said: "We did because we put the cladding that was specified up by Kensington and Chelsea council.

"It was approved by building control, it was approved by the local authority, it was approved by the architect."

Richard Millett QC, lead counsel to the inquiry, said on the opening day: "Grenfell was a home.

"It was a human space for human lives, each unique – that is what a home is. For many who lived there, Grenfell wasn't a home but a place of refuge."

The commemorations are taking place at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in south Kensington, a new venue closer to the Grenfell community – offering private rooms, a prayer room and counselling.

As the hearings are taking place during Ramadan, the morning sessions are expected to adjourn for lunch at 12.45pm to allow Muslims to prepare for the 1pm prayer.

The rest of phase one of the inquiry will take place at Holborn Bars in central London, where several procedural hearings have already happened.

The probe is believed to have the largest number of core participants to date, with more than 500 survivors, bereaved families and friends, and members of the North Kensington community participating.

The main hearing room has a capacity for 500 people and bereaved, survivors and residents will be reserved seats at the front each day.

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