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Five-year-old Grenfell Tower victim ‘choked to death on fumes’

Westminster coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox opened and adjourned the inquests of four people including Isaac Paulos.

One of the youngest victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy choked to death on fumes from the fire, an inquest heard.

The body of five-year-old Isaac Paulos, who lived with his family on the 18th floor, was found on the 13th floor, Westminster Coroner’s Court was told.

The youngster, who vanished in the dense fumes as his family attempted to escape the blaze, had to be identified by his dental records.

Westminster coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox opened and adjourned the inquests of four people including Isaac on Monday.

Coroner’s officer Eric Sword told the short hearing Isaac’s preliminary cause of death had been given as “inhalation of fire fumes”.

Dr Wilcox told the court she had met with his parents and passed on her condolences to them. She added that 18 of the at least 79 victims had so far been formally identified.

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Dr Wilcox said: “I have now formally identified 18 people who have died within this tower block and the tragic fire incident.

“There are many outstanding identifications still to come.

“It can’t really be explained in enough detail how complex an investigation this is in terms of identification and in terms of recovery of bodies on a dangerous site that my team are not allowed to enter because the building is being shored up.”

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The other three victims whose inquests were opened included artist Khadija Saye, 24.

The artist, hailed as a “wonderful young woman” by Tottenham MP David Lammy, was due to appear on a BBC documentary about her work, which was on show in Venice as part of a collection on the theme of diaspora.

The inquest heard Miss Saye, also known as Ya-Haddy Sisi Saye, was found in a hallway on the ninth floor, 11 floors below her 20th floor home. The hearing was told her preliminary cause of death was “inhalation of fire fumes and burns”.

The inquest of her mother, Mary Ajaoi Augustus Mendy, was also opened. The body of Ms Mendy, 54, also known as Sissy Mendy, was found on the 13th floor.

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In a family statement released by Scotland Yard on Monday, Ms Mendy’s sister Betty Jackson said: “My beloved sister, words can never describe the pain of losing you.

“Your heart was pure, your soul was one of a kind. You will be missed for a life time. You will remain forever in our hearts. you and your beautiful daughter Khadija Saye. “From your sister, brothers, nieces and nephews.”

The fourth inquest was that of Mohamednur Tuccu, 44, whose body was recovered from close to the nearby leisure centre.

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