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Myriam, “the little princess” of Montpellier

MidiLibre/Scoop, Feb 8

Othman Irainat from Montpellier paid tribute to his little sister Myriam, who died in the Paris apartment fire on Monday.

The Montpellier woman was one of ten victims to die in the fire, which was started deliberately by a troubled tenant in the building.

Othman, Myriam’s older brother, runs one of the two family butcher shops under the name “Souk du Maghreb” in Montpellier, and he was alerted by Myriam’s employer. Myriam, 24, was completing her studies as a chartered accountant in Paris and she worked for a large firm.

“Her employers called us Tuesday after she didn’t turn up for work, they had just heard the news of the fire and they knew her address,” said Othman Irainat. “Then there was a call from the police, and we were told the terrible news.” The family also realised that Myriam had called her mother’s cell phone at 0:45, fifteen minutes after the fire broke out. “My mother was sleeping, she did not leave a message, she wanted to alert us and say goodbye,” said Othman.

The Irainat children were born in Nice but when they were young the family moved to Montpellier, and they grew up in the district of La Chamberte. “To become an accountant, it was Myriam’s ambition, she worked morning and night, she was the only one in the family who studied, and we were so proud of her. " her brother said proudly.

After studying in Dijon, Paris and the United States, she had come back to Paris six months ago, and lived on the 6th floor of the apartment block on Erlanger Street, where she lost her life.

Othman Irainat was speaking from Paris, where he was leaving for Morocco to bury his little sister. The rest of his family await his arrival. “Of course, I am very angry with the tenant who started the fire…but it is God who has decided it should be so, it is the good God who created us and it is the same God who takes her away. I’m leaving for Morocco with my little sister, my princess.”

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