A man who heard his mother and sister die in Grenfell fire says his family was ‘murdered and cremated’ in the blaze.
Ahmed Elgwahry told the Grenfell Tower public inquiry he was ‘tortured’ by having to listen to Grenfell burn for several days after hearing his mother and sister suffer and die.
Mr Elgwahry’s comments were made as part of commemorations to the victims of the blaze in the inquiry.
His mother and sister, Eslah Elgwahry, 64, and 27-year-old Mariem Elgwahry lived at flat 196 Grenfell Tower.
The inquiry heard Mariem had studied at Roehampton University, worked in marketing, and had previously raised concerns about the condition of the tower.
Speaking as an image of his sister was projected, Mr Elgwahry described her as “beautiful” and “ambitious” and was due to start a dream job with a branding company on June 15.
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Mr Elgwahry – who had lived in the tower for more than 20 years – told the inquiry that on the night of the fire, his wife woke him up with a call from Mariem.
He told her “get the hell out of the building” and he was on his way as he knew she and their mother were trapped.
He told the inquiry he was tempted to run into the building but knew it would mean suicide.
“Everything was happening so fast and clearly time was our enemy,” he said. “They had become trapped very early on and there was nothing that I could do.”
Describing the moment he heard his sister die, he said: “She started fading away from me but she kept on going all the way until she started to fade away. She started mumbling, started banging the floor until she was no longer responsive.”
He also heard his mother, who was struggling for breath, saying: “I can’t breath. I can’t breath” and told the inquiry he stayed on the phone but could only hear the fire on the windows.
“The truth is that Mariem could have disconnected that call but I will be forever grateful that I was with them all the way,” said Mr Elgwahry. “Even though I was not in the room it felt like I was.
“My mother and sister were murdered an cremated on the 14th of June last year.
“To be more specific they were poisoned by the smoke and I had to listen to them suffer and listen to them die.”
He said he had to listen to Grenfell burn for a couple of days.
“If that is not torture then I am not sure what is,” he added.