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Bereaved father weeps for lost baby at London's Grenfell fire inquiry

The fire led to a national outpouring of angst over whether poor quality social housing and neglect by the authorities played a part in the tragedy.

FILE: The Grenfell Tower apartment block on fire. Picture: @LondonFire/Twitter

LONDON - Survivors of London’s deadly Grenfell Tower fire wept on Monday as they listened to a bereaved father pay tribute to his baby son and heard a recording of another victim making his last phone call from the burning building.

Those were among many heartbreaking moments on the first day of oral hearings at a public inquiry into the blaze, which killed 71 people in the social housing block on the night of 14 June 2017.

The fire led to a national outpouring of angst over whether poor quality social housing and neglect by the authorities of an ethnically diverse community had played a part in the tragedy.

The public inquiry, which will last many months, aims to establish the causes of the disaster, but first it has invited the bereaved to talk about their loved ones and show pictures or videos if they wish.

Marcio Gomes, an IT worker who fled from the 21st floor through thick, poisonous fumes with his heavily pregnant wife Andreia and their two daughters, went first with an emotional tribute to his son Logan, who was stillborn in hospital hours after the escape.

“I held my son in my arms, hoping it was all a bad dream, wishing, praying for a miracle, that he would open his eyes, move, make a sound,” Gomes said, crying, his wife by his side.

Andreia, a clothes shop supervisor, was in an induced coma being treated for cyanide poisoning from the fire at the moment of Logan’s birth. He had been due to be born on 21 August 2017.

Family photographs flashed up on a screen, including an ultrasound scan image of Logan in his mother’s womb, and images of him just after his birth.