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Grenfell fire victim’s mother describes guilt after encouraging move to block

Debbie Lamprell’s mother Miriam said ‘nothing seems worth it any more’ following the 45-year-old’s death.

The elderly mother of a Grenfell Tower fire victim has described her guilt over encouraging her to move into the council block that she died in.

Opera Holland Park (OHP) front of house staff member Deborah Lamprell, who was described as always having a smile on her face, died in the blaze along with 70 of her neighbours.

Her mother Miriam said “nothing seems worth it any more” following the 45-year-old’s death, in a statement read out by OHP colleague Michael Volpe.

People took to Debbie because she was a friendly, easy person Miriam Lamprell

Ms Lamprell, known as Debbie, moved out of the family home as a young professional to be nearer her work in west London, her mother said, adding she was concerned about the bedsits she was living in.

Her mother said: “The conditions weren’t good and I used to badger her to put her name down with the council to get her somewhere proper to live, somewhere safe and decent.

“Of course it feels terrible to have done that now because she was given the flat in Grenfell.”

She said her daughter had found refurbishment of the flat a “nightmare”, experiencing problems with electricity and the boiler.

“I used to think, at least when I go she’s got a roof over her head,” she added.

The night she died she sent a text to say she was safe at home, her mother said, which read: “I’ve got in mum, all’s well, goodnight, god bless.”

She continued: “I thought ‘that’s ok she’s safe’.

“I went to bed and I got up in the morning and I didn’t have a daughter.”

She added: “I am bereft without her. If she had died a normal death I would have been able to hold her and comfort her and say goodbye, but I feel a part of me has been ripped out. Nothing seems worth it anymore.”

Miriam, 79, a retired dinner lady at a school for disabled children, recalled her daughter was a popular child who brought together kids from local estates and private homes and never wanted to stop playing.

Her and her husband would often take her to the ballet, theatre and museums, and she was a keen snooker player in her younger years.

As she grew up, she continued to love being around people and lived a life that was “happy and fulfilled”.

She said: “She really loved her work, she was really, really happy with her life.

“You rarely saw my Debbie without a smile. People took to Debbie because she was a friendly, easy person.”

After her daughter had moved out, Ms Lamprell recalled she would visit every Saturday and bring her mother two scratch cards.

But her daughter would caveat the gift by saying: “We don’t need money, we are so lucky with what we have got.”

The tribute ended with footage of Ms Lamprell’s colleagues observing a moment of silence in memory of “our beautiful friend” at a memorial service, before an arrangement of Amazing Grace sung by a choir reduced many to tears.

An inscribed stone has been laid at the spot where Ms Lamprell would sit and listen to the OHP performances in her memory.

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