Grieving son tells Grenfell inquiry he 'dreams of going to heaven' as he struggles to cope with dad's death

Hamid Jafari told the inquiry into the disaster he asked friends to pray he would "die soon", as he struggles to cope with his father's death.

Fighting tears he said: "I’ve never dreamed or thought of going to the heaven, but now I fight every day, every second, as I want to join my dad."

Ali Jafari – who escaped from Afghanistan in the 1990s – lost contact with his family as they tried to escape the fire.

He knocked on neighbours doors as the flames took over the West London tower block and was unable to get out alive.

The third day of the public inquiry into the tragedy heard from the friends and families of 16 victims.

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

Today the inquiry is set to hear tributes to Rania Ibrahim, Fethia Hassan, Hania Hassan, Anthony Disson, Zainab Deen, Jeremiah Deen, Gary Maunders, Ali Yawar Jafari, Sirria Choucair, Nadia Choucair, Bassem Choukair, Mierna Choucair, Fatima Choucair, Zainab Coucair, Majorie Vital and Ernie Vital.

Yesterday, pockets of survivors, the bereaved and members of the community fled the room when traumatising images of the burning tower were played without warning in a video clip commemorating some victims.

Sobbing could be heard from the hallway, and the hearing had to pause when a woman collapsed.

Today the inquiry provided "trigger" sheets, warning of potentially upsetting images in presentations.

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.

Rania's family, who also spoke yesterday, presented a video on her life.

The inquiry heard how she moved to the UK to take care of her older sister, when she became ill with cancer.

Another of her sisters, Aiasha, read out a statement which said: "She was beautiful and she liked making sure everyone around her was also happy and beautiful.

"Rania will always be remembered for her smile and selfnessness …she was like my right hand …We were once a family."

A statement read out on behalf of Sayeda, another sibling, recalled one of the last times she saw her sister after a shopping trip.

She said Rania hugged her tightly and said "I love you and I am proud that you are my sister".

She continued: "I laughed and said 'what's wrong, are you ok?'. She responded 'yes, I just felt like hugging you'. Exactly one week later the tower in which my sister and her two children lived went up in flames."

A haunting recording of four-year-old Fethia, known as Fou-Fou, was played to the inquiry.

She was seen blowing kisses to her cousins and telling them: "I want to hug and kiss you."

Anthony (Tony) Disson

Tony Disson was described as a family man, who loved his sons and grandchildren deeply.

He moved into Grenfell Tower after his first marriage ended, and often told his family about the close-knit community in the West London block.

His son, Lee, wrote in a statement his dad taught him to fish and they spent a lot of time together.

He added: "The fun and the laughter is something nothing can take away from me. I love you dad. Rest in eternal peace."

A video tribute was played where his second wife and three sons spoke about him.

Cordelia Disson told the camera: "Tony was a good dad, he was a brilliant husband and a wonderful grandad…Tony will always be my first love, he will always be my last love."

Jeremiah and Zainab Deen

One of the youngest victims of the blaze was Jeremiah Deen, who was found dead next to his mum, Zainab, who dreamed of being a pop star and of travel.

The toddler and his 32-year-old mum, Zainab, had their lives "cruelly snatched away" in the blaze.

His step-grandmother said ahead of the inquiry: "How do you summarise what it means for such a tiny child's life to be cut short?

"Death is one thing, but to die by fire is seen as a bad omen in our culture, which makes this loss so much harder to try to understand.

"We must hear the whole truth and face the whole truth as a nation – we owe it to every victim."

Their family paid tribute to the "sweet" boy and his "smart, warm and caring" mum today.

Zainab's father said in a statement: "We often say the hour of death cannot be forecast, when we say this we mean that we do not know when we are going to die and believe this time to be in a very distance future.

“We never thought we would be thinking of Zainab Deen, as we are today.”

Of Jeremiah, he added: "His sweet life was cut short, with that of his mother Zainab by the Grenfell Tower fire.

"He was loved by all and was very overprotected by his mother, who loved him very much.

“He was loving, full of life, liked playing football, loved exploring and adventuring.

“We cannot dwell on the sadness or keep asking the question why this happened to our family, neither will we find a reason why such a handsome and cheerful boy was taken from us at the age of two."

Ali Jafari

Ali Jafari – who escaped from Afghanistan in the 1990s – lost contact with his family as they tried to escape the fire.

He knocked on neighbours doors as the flames took over the tower and was unable to get out alive.

His daughter Maria told the inquiry: "I want to show some memories of my father, Ali Jafari, who died on the night of the fire aged 82.

"I would to show some happy photos and videos, but all of these have been lost in the fire.

"Many of our memories have been taken, but that night we lost much more, more than I can say right now.”

His son, Hamid, who wept as he spoke about his dad, said: "Dad, I am really sorry that I can’t bring any smile back to my mother’s face and two sisters.”

Gary Maunders

The 57-year-old was one of the few victims who didn't actually live in the tower, but was visiting a friend on the top floor.

The tribute to him was read by Mike Mansfield QC on behalf of Ana, the mother of his two children, Aaron, 15, and Saskia, 10.

It read: "Sadly for us, future milestones will be reached without having their father present and future memories will not involve their father which is heartbreaking for us.

"We all hope Gary is at peace but he will live on in our hearts and minds and will never be forgotten."

Mr Maunders' nieces, Chanel and Kennita Spence, quietly cried at the front of the room as a video featuring their voices was played to the inquiry.

The pair said their uncle was a talented footballer in his younger years who had the chance of becoming professional when he was scouted by Arsenal.

He was a loyal Manchester United fan who supported his team through their highs and lows.

Marjorie and Ernie Vital

The mother and son were in flat 162 on the 16th floor.

Marjorie's sister Paula Bellot, paid tribute to her and said the family used to called Grenfell "Majorie's Tower".

She said she was a good cook, and would come home and make what she had learnt.

She said: "She loved living in the tower and was very proud of her home which was always clean and tidy ..Mama and Papa used to tease her, calling it ‘Marjorie’s Tower'.

"I am so saddened by Marjorie’s death and I miss her.

"I always thought we would have time again to become close in the future and to spend more time together."

Ernie was described by his brother as a "very good dancer" in a video.

The inquiry is told Marjorie and Ernie tried to escape, but went to the top floor, found an empty flat and filled a bath.

The video tribute ends as the brother explains how he took their ashes to Dominica.

Yesterday the inquiry heard from a man forced to watch his family burn inside the tower.

On the opening day a heartbroken dad told how he held his stillborn son – the youngest victim of the blaze.

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.


The boss of the company behind the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower said the cladding wasn't tested by his firm.

He said this was because they thought it complied with regulations.

Robert Bond, chief executive of Rydon, was spoken to by BBC Panorama on the first day of the public inquiry.

His construction company worked on the £8.6million project – and installed new cladding and windows.

When it was suggested it was his job to make Grenfell Tower safe, he 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."

He denied the firm was required to do any testing on the cladding, saying: "No, we didn't do any testing because we are not required, it was deemed to comply.

"We would work to the regulatory framework."He expressed sympathy for the victims but said Rydon took no responsibility for the fire.

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