Family’s tears as victim’s son tells Grenfell inquiry of his ‘hero’ father
Hamid Ali Jafari said he prayed that he would die soon so he could see his father in heaven.
Tears fell on the third day of the Grenfell Tower inquiry as a son told the room he wanted to die so he could join his elderly father in heaven.
Hamid Ali Jafari, whose father Ali Yawar Jafari, 82, was killed in the June 14 blaze, said he prayed every day that he would die so he could see his father again.
He said his “hero” father had a special connection with his young son, and that sometimes he felt his father’s soul was present in the child when he held him.
Speaking quietly, as his sister and mother cried, he said: “I have never dreamed or thought of going to heaven but now I fight every day, every second, because I want to join my dad.
“And I pray every day – and even I request my friends to pray for me – that I die soon to meet my father.”
Mr Jafari was pulled from Grenfell Tower by firefighters after losing contact with his family but was pronounced dead at the scene due to inhalation of fire fumes.
The grandfather, who lived on the 11th floor, was described as a kind man and husband who loved animals and travelling.
His son said in a video tribute: “I think the happiest moment he had was when my son was born, because he was attached to him a lot.
“Both of them were connected to each other so sometimes when I see my son I feel like my dad’s soul came in my son.”
Commemorations were also heard for six further victims at the Millennium Gloucester hotel in South Kensington on Wednesday.
Zainab Deen, 32, and her two-year-old son Jeremiah, were found at each other’s side on the 14th floor.
In a statement read by Michael Mansfield QC, their family said they could not find a reason “why such a handsome and cheerful boy was taken from us at the age of two”.
They said: “Throughout your short time here on earth you were so connected with your mother that even death cannot separate you both.”
Anthony Disson, known as Tony, was also remembered as a proud father who loved to encourage his sons’ passion for boxing.
The 65-year-old doted on his grandchildren, including a baby girl who was named after him.
Mother-and-son Majorie and Ernie Vital were found “fused together” on the top floor of the tower after leaving their 19th floor home seeking safety, the inquiry heard.
Ms Vital’s surviving son, who was not named, said in a video he was comforted by the fact his brother, 50, and mother, 68, had died together.
He scattered their ashes in Dominica, where his mother was born.
Also remembered was Gary Maunders, a Manchester United supporter whose “greatest achievement was his children”.
The 57-year-old had asked to be buried in his beloved team’s strip when he died, his nieces said in a video.
His family honoured his wish and pictures of floral red and white tributes, including a football, were shown to the room.
Ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, sheets of paper were placed on seats warning attendees when there may be “particularly upsetting” content.
It follows turbulent scenes on Tuesday, when people fled in tears after footage of the tower engulfed in flames was broadcast during a commemoration without anyone being warned beforehand.
On Wednesday footage was played showing the charred wreckage inside the tower, people’s homes changed beyond recognition into a grey wasteland.
Several further commemorations will include footage of the tower.