Syrian refugee is first fire victim to be named
15 June 2017 National News
The first victim of the Grenfell Tower tragedy has been confirmed as 23-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali.
After attempting to leave the flat with his older brother Omar, the pair became separated and Mr Alhajali returned upstairs to his 14th floor flat.
While waiting to be rescued by firefighters, he called a friend in Syria, speaking to him for two hours.
When the fire reached his flat, he said goodbye to his friend and asked him to say goodbye to his family, who he had been unable to reach.
The civil engineering student fled the war in Syria in 2014 and had not been able to see his family since.
He worked for the Syria Solidarity Campaign in the UK, which calls for peace and democracy in the country.
Confirming his death, Abdulaziz Almashi, the co-founder of the organisation, described him as a “kind, charitable” man, who was “full of passion for his family”.
He said he studied civil engineering at the University of West London so he could one day return to Syria and help the country.
He said: “Mohammed undertook a dangerous journey to flee war and death in Syria, only to meet it here in the UK, in his own home.
“Mohammed came to this country for safety and the UK failed to protect him. We absolutely agree that a thorough investigation into Building Regulations should take place immediately.”
Mr Alhajali’s brother is in hospital in a stable condition.