Grenfell Tower fire: first victim named as Syrian refugee Mohammad Alhajali

She told The Times he was "an incredible guy" who had come to the United Kingdom three years ago, with his brother Omar, "seeking a better, safer life".

"He survived Assad, he survived the war, only to be killed in a tower block in London", says a friend.

Firefighters have said they expect the number of fatalities to rise and that they do not expect to find anymore survivors in the 1970s building.

Abdulaziz Almashi, who knew Mohammed and co-founded the Syria Solidarity Campaign, told a reporter that he had been looking forward to celebrating the end of Ramadan.

Mohammad, whose death was also confirmed by family members on social media, was a first year civil engineering student at West London University.

The Syria Solidarity Campaign group paid tribute to al-Hajali, saying: "Mohammed undertook a unsafe journey to flee war and death in Syria, only to meet it here in the United Kingdom, in his own home".

From there, Al-Haj Ali reportedly phoned and messaged his family and friends in Syria, telling them about the raging inferno.

Tributes have been paid to a "kind and charitable" refugee who was named as one of the first victims of the devastating Grenfell Tower blaze. "To Allah we belong and to him we shall return".

"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family and friends".

His brother Omar was taken to hospital after escaping and remained in contact with Mohammed, who was still trapped inside the flat.

The day the fire struck at Grenfell Tower in Kensington an area where rich and poor live side by side he and his brother Omar attempted to escape the inferno.

Friend Abdullah Hourani, who had searched for Mohammed through social media, said Omar was in a stable condition. "His story touched me personally because he had escaped death from Syria and came to the United Kingdom to find a new life".

At least 17 people died in the fire which started early on Wednesday.