Dad of baby stillborn following Grenfell breaks down in tears as inquiry begins

The devastated father of a baby boy stillborn following the Grenfell Tower fire broke down in tears at the inquiry as he told of the moment he and his wife found out they were pregnant.

"He was going to be my superstar," said the tearful dad of Logan Gomes, starting the tributes to six victims today.

The sister of victim Dennis Murphy followed, saying "There’s a gaping hole in our hearts that can never be filled."

Family and friends of victims prepare to pay tribute to their loved ones in the first two weeks of the public inquiry, which started this morning.

Starting the hearings this way on will ensure that "we will never lose sight of who our work is for and why we are doing it", lead counsel to the inquiry Richard Millett said.

Marcio Gomes began by reading out a quote from a nursery rhyme "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, do you know how loved you are?", and described his unborn son as a "star".

Logan was due on August 21, but instead was born on June 14 – the night of the fire.

Mr Gomes told the inquiry Logan is he and wife Andrea’s "flying angel".

"We let him go, he can fly high," he said, wiping away tears.

"A friend once told us that God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers, and certainly this has been our hardest battle."

An ultrasound scan picture of Logan, who was born stillborn at seven months, was shown to the inquiry.

The family-of-four escaped the fire from the 21st floor at around 4am on the night of the fire.

"That same evening when I found out that we lost our son Logan in the hospital, I had to do it on my own because my wife and daughters were all in comas that evening," the dad continued.

"All three are physically OK and we are trying to move forward.

"His due date was on the August 21 but instead he was born on June 14.

"That evening I was fortunate to hold my son.

"I held my son in my arms that evening hoping it was all a bad dream, wishing, praying for any kind of miracle that he would just open his eyes, move, make a sound.

"But as we know that never happened."

The second family member to speak today was Ann-Marie Murphy, sister of victim Dennis Murphy.

She said: "Mum says he was born with born with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face and he kept this trademark up throughout his life.

"He was our hero.

"Dennis had three loves in his life – family, friends and Chelsea Football Club, and not always in that order.

"Although Dennis had health issues in his later years this didn’t hold him back and he helped out at a local boxing club."

She said he also visited and rang his mother daily.

She described the moment brother Tim got his last phone from Dennis, telling him about the fire.

"He never imagined it would his last phone call from him," she added.

"There’s a gaping hole in our hearts that can never be filled. The pain, loss and sorrow we feel is indescribable.

"The day Dennis died, a part of us died too."

She finished by saying "he will always be our hero".

Seventy-one people died in the fire that swept through Grenfell Tower in west London on June 14 last year.

Over the two weeks, a series of pre-recorded videos and statements will be delivered by the bereaved and on their behalf.

Tributes will be paid to six victims on Monday – baby Logan Gomes, Denis Murphy, Mohamed Amied Neda, Joseph Daniels and mother and daughter Mary Mendy and Khadija Saye.

Chairing the probe is retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who led a 72-second silence in honour of the victims.

He said: "In terms of loss of life the fire was the single greatest tragedy to befall this city since the end of the Second World War.

"The sight of the building engulfed in flame is indelibly printed on the memories of those who experienced an event of unimaginable horror."

He added: "When we die, we live on in the memories of those who knew and loved us. It is fitting therefore that the opening hearings… should be dedicated to the memory of those who died.

"They will be remembered by the words and pictures chosen by the people who knew them best and loved them most, their families and friends."

We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates, pictures and video on this breaking news story.

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