Choking back tears, Isaac Shawo’s mother said: ‘I will not fear the worse, I am still hoping and praying for him. He is a beautiful boy. He told us during the fire that he didn’t want us to die.
A boy told his mother he ‘didn’t want to die’ just moments before they were separated as they fled the inferno.
Terrified Isaac Shawo, five, was lost in thick black smoke as his family tried to flee their 18th floor flat. He was holding the hand of a neighbor but disappeared as his parents and brother Luca, three, stumbled down a fire escape.
Choking back tears, his mother Genet Shawo said: ‘I will not fear the worse, I am still hoping and praying for him. He is a beautiful boy. He told us during the fire that he didn’t want us to die.
‘My neighbor said he would hold him and bring him down. But when I got outside I realized Isaac wasn’t there. I have been to all the emergency centers, all the hospitals and there is no news of him. I just want help, anyone who has any information can they please come forward.’
The family have heard no news of the fate of Isaac, who attended the nearby Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School.
Describing how their escape, Mrs Shawo, who is originally from Ethiopia, told London’s Evening Standard that they were beaten back by heat and smoke.
She and her husband Paulos Petakle, a taxi driver, used wet towels to try and protect their children.
‘We opened the door and there was thick smoke which came into our home. You couldn’t see anything it was so dark. The fire was so hot,’ she said.
‘I was helping my neighbor to put towels on his children, and started helping them down. I had put a wet towel already on Isaac.
‘My neighbor said he had lost hold of him inside and couldn’t find him. It was so dark, you couldn’t see anything in the smoke. I am praying he managed to get out somehow or someone else saved him.’