A man whose wife and young daughters died after a house fire in Nottingham has described how he had to identify their bodies, in a hospital mortuary, on his birthday.
Aboubacarr Drammeh, who turned 40 on Wednesday, paid tribute to his wife of eight years, Fatoumatta Hydara, and their daughters Fatimah and Naeemah Drammeh, aged three and one, in a statement.
All three died from smoke inhalation following a blaze at their first-floor flat in Fairisle Close, in Nottingham's Clifton, in the early hours of Sunday 20 November.
Mr Drammeh described the past week as the "hardest" of his life, adding he will never get over spending part of his birthday in the hospital mortuary.
"I had to go in there and see the bodies. That was just so hard," he said.
Mr Drammeh added that he was in the process of securing visas for his family to join him in Minnesota, in the US, where he works as a biomedical technologist. He went on, “That’s not going to happen now and I can’t understand why.”
He said he found out about the incident at 5am, before going straight to the airport to fly to the UK.
He added: “I’ve done that journey so many times, but all the other times it’s been exciting because I was going to see my family.
"This time around – I still can’t recall it. It’s just a blur."
He described his wife as a "very faithful person", who was "caring" and would help "whoever she could".
Of his children, he said, "They were both really happy children. They loved spending time with their grandparents and got along really well as siblings."
Jamie Barrow was remanded in custody last Friday at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court having been charged with three murders.
Barrow, 31, who spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth, was ordered to appear at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday.
Adjourning the case, District Judge Leo Pyle told Barrow: "All three allegations you face have to be heard at the Crown Court and accordingly I am sending all three of these matters to the Nottingham Crown Court."