Family pays tribute to Grenfell Tower fire victim Biruk Haftom, 12
The child was discovered in the flat of a fellow victim, both of whom were identified by their dental records.
The death of a 12-year-old boy trapped alongside his mother at the top of Grenfell Tower was “consistent with the effects of fire”, an inquest has heard.
Biruk Haftom, described by his family as a “loving, pure-hearted boy”, was found on the 23rd floor of the block following the devastating inferno on June 14. His mother Berkti, 29, was found dead nearby.
Westminster Coroner’s Court heard the child was discovered in the flat of fellow victim, 63-year-old Raymond Bernard, both of whom were identified by their dental records.
Inquests were opened and suspended into both their deaths, along with that of Denis Murphy, 56, whose remains were found on the 14th floor and identified by dental records.
The preliminary cause of death for all three was “consistent with the effects of fire”, the inquest was told by coroner’s officer Eric Sword.
Westminster Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox told the short hearing that 58 victims have now been identified, of whom 57 have had inquests opened and suspended pending the outcome of the public inquiry and police investigation. She said: “Our investigation proceeds, it is slow, identifications are becoming more difficult.”
At least 80 people are thought to have died when flames engulfed the building.
Earlier, the family of Biruk paid tribute to him. In a statement released by the Metropolitan Police, they said: “Biruk was a loving, pure-hearted boy, wise beyond his years and known for his politeness, kind heart and his love for his family and friends.
“Berkti and Biruk left an everlasting legacy full of lovely memories and their contagious laughter and charisma will live in our hearts forever.
“We are deeply hurt and heartbroken our angels were taken from us so cruelly, so young. We will not rest until justice is served.”
Dr Wilcox offered her sympathies to all the bereaved families.
Of Biruk, she said: “I take this opportunity, sadly, to record my sincere condolences to all those who have been touched by this little boy’s death.”
The boy and his mother are believed to have lived on the 18th floor of the tower block, suggesting they had sought refuge in a flat further up the building.
Last week, Mr Murphy’s family said they had been left with a “gaping hole in our hearts that can never be filled” after he was formally identified as among the dead.
The family of Mr Bernard, who was known to friends as Moses, also paid tribute, saying he was “so dearly loved by us all and will be sadly missed by many”.