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Missing Grenfell Tower woman’s brother joins friends in songs of tribute

Zainab Dean was in her 14th floor flat when the fire broke out.

The brother of a woman missing alongside her young son following the Grenfell Tower blaze has gathered with friends to pay tribute to her.

Zainab Dean, who was in her 14th floor flat with her son Jeremiah, two, when the fire broke out in the early hours of Wednesday morning, is described as a “beautiful, loving lady”.

A few dozen people, some carrying flowers and wearing T-shirts featuring a picture of the 28-year-old and her son, walked along Bramley Road in west London, singing songs including Amazing Grace. When they were in sight of the remains of the tower, some pointed and shouted “we shall overcome” before breaking into song again.

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Friends of Zainab Dean gathered near Grenfell Tower (Victoria Jones/PA)

The group then walked towards a spot nearby where candles have been lit and messages left on heart-shaped paper, where one woman described Ms Dean, originally from Sierra Leone, as a “beautiful, loving lady”.

Francis Dean, Ms Dean’s brother, was too upset to speak. Members of the UK’s Sierra Leone community travelled from Manchester and Birmingham to take part, a friend, Isha Thomas, said.

She said Ms Dean had been on the phone to her brother from the 14th floor flat in which she was living with Jeremiah as the fire raged. She said she believed Ms Dean was following advice not to leave the building, adding: “She was on the phone to her brother until four in the morning.”

She added: “We are just devastated. I just want them (authorities) to answer. We need answers, we need to know what happened.”

Ms Thomas, who knows Ms Dean through the City of Light evangelical ministry in Brentford, said the family have been checking hospitals but have heard nothing. She said: “I’m hopeful, I have to be hopeful.”

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