Fund for Syrian refugee who perished in Grenfell Tower blaze raises thousands of pounds in hours

Thousands of pounds have been raised in a funeral fund set up for the first victim to be named from the Grenfell Tower fire.

A Syrian support group set up the fund for Mohammed Alhajali, a refugee who came to the UK in 2014.

Mr Alhajali was among 30 people who have so far been confirmed as having died in the blaze that ripped through Grenfell Tower in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

It is likely that far more people perished in the horrific incident, but police have said it may prove impossible to identify everyone who lost their lives.

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A GoFundMe page was set up on Thursday to pay for Mr Alhajali’s funeral costs and more than £6,000 had been raised in just nine hours.

The page, set up by Kareen El Beyrouty from the Syria Solidarity Campaign, said: “Mohammed Alhajali undertook a dangerous journey to flee war in Syria, only to meet death here in the UK, in his own home.”

A fund set up to pay for the funeral of one of the Grenfell Tower victims has already raised thousands
Support – the fund had already raised more than £6,000 just nine hours after it was set up (Picture: GoFundMe)

Mr Alhajali was a civil engineering student at West London University, the page said, with a dream to return home and “rebuild Syria”.

She added: “Mohammed’s older brother Omar, who was with him in the flat, survived but lost Mohammed on the way out.

“Omar was rescued by the Fire Services while Mohammed went back upstairs. Mohammed was on the phone for two hours with a friend in Syria, waiting to be rescued.”

A fund set up to pay for funeral costs for one of the Grenfell Tower victims has already raised thousands of pounds
Tributes – messages have poured in in tribute to those who lost their lives and were affected by the blaze (Picture: PA)

“He was trying to reach his family back in Syria but he could not get connected to them due to the situation there. He had not seen his family for four years.

“He was hoping to be rescued, but when the building fire reached his flat on the 14th floor, Mohammed bid his friend goodbye, saying that the fire had reached him. He asked his friend to pass on the message to his family.”

The page added that the Syria Solidarity Campaign is raising money for Mohammed’s funeral, with any remaining funds to be donated to his brother Omar and family. “That way, his family in Syria can have a chance to say their last goodbyes”, it added.