Featured image of Grenfell credit: Evening Standard via Twitter.
Many of us woke up today to the news of a fire in Grenfell Tower, a block of flats near Latimer Road, west London. The blaze engulfed the building in the early hours of this morning. The latest reports say six people are confirmed dead and at least 64 others are in hospital.
Grenfell Tower sits in a typically diverse area of West London. In the midst of the tragedy, Londoners have once again shown their capacity for bravery and generosity, as well as their willingness to help their neighbour and community.
One woman described the tight-knit nature of the community. The local resident, called Rashida, told Sky News:
‘It’s a very diverse area, we have all nationalities, all religions. We all live peacefully amongst each other, there is not much crime higher than anywhere else. You can walk around safely late at night…we all know each other.’
Another Grenfell Tower resident, named Michael, spoke of his escape: ‘I’ve opened the door and the neighbours were there. People screaming, there were firemen saying ‘get down the stairs’, I’ve grabbed the little girl, I’ve grabbed my girlfriend, just in a pair of boxer shorts and a dressing gown, someone gave me these clothes, and this is it and now we are here.’
Social media has been flooded with examples of heroism and bravery by many people, from emergency responders to local residents. People have been offering supplies in such numbers that some donations are now being turned away.
One woman even told 5 News of a baby being ‘miraculously’ caught by a man after the child was thrown from a ninth or tenth floor window.
It goes without saying, we are all in awe of the firemen and other emergency services who responded to the fire.
A crowdfunding site has been set up to help those affected by the fire. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.