It has been almost one year since the tragic London Grenfell Tower fire, which took the lives of 72 people and injured more than 70 more. The wounds are still as fresh as the day of the incident for many surviving family members.
As the Grenfell commemoration hearings are underway, many victims’ families are coming forward with stories of guilt and blame. A grieving father told the Grenfell Tower inquiry that this five-year-old son would likely still be here if the responding firefighters had not instructed his family to stay in place and wait for rescue. Paulos Tekle expressed extreme guilt for listening to the fire brigade when they told him and his son, Isaac Paulos, to remain in their flat on the 13th floor. Tekle said that he was told twice by the officials to stay put during two separate phone calls. Isaac got lost in the suffocating smoke and passed away.
Investigative reports following the incident demonstrate the validity that residents were advised to stay in place for the first two hours of the fire. This advice was based on the common assumption that most fires will not spread to other areas separated by walls and doors.
Numerous stories revealed during the inquiry detail the numerous stories of victims moving to higher floors in the building in an attempt to escape the smoke and flames. Many loved ones are coping with the loss of numerous family members, including many children. The youngest victim was just six months old. The fire broke out in the early morning of June 14 and burned all through the night and into the next few days until it was finally extinguished.