Five years on from the tragedy, those who survived the Grenfell Tower blaze have spoken out, saying “for them, we keep fighting” in reference to those who lost their lives.
To give some context on the scale of the fire, when it happened, it was the deadliest structural fire in the United Kingdom for almost 30 years and the worst residential fire to happen in the UK since World War II.
On the fifth anniversary of the blaze, we look back on when it happened, how it happened, the victims whose lives were sadly lost, and the status of the building today.
When did the Grenfell Tower blaze happen?
The Grenfell Tower fire occurred on 14 June 2017, in North Kensington, Kensington and Chelsea.
The first report of an emergency was received at approximately 12.54am and it took around 24 hours to bring the blaze under control, and around 60 hours from the initial emergency call before the fire was fully extinguished.
It took more than 250 firefighters to tackle the blaze, which involved around 70 fire engines, which were sourced from all over London.
What was the cause of the fire?
It was determined that the fire began due to an electrical fault in a refrigerator on the fourth floor.
The fire was exacerbated by the flammable cladding on the exterior of the building, something that has been highly controversial since.
How many people died in the fire?
The fire rapidly engulfed the high rise, due to the flammable cladding, with 72 people dying, including two who later succumbed in hospital.
The tower had a ‘stay put’ fire policy so the first emergency officers on the scene told residents to stay in their houses, which caused many to become trapped.
More than 70 people were injured, while over 220 people managed to escape.
Who were the Grenfell Tower fire victims?
- Marco Gottardi
- Logan Gomes
- Denis Murphy
- Mohamed Amied Neda
- Joseph Daniels
- Mary Mendy
- Khadija Saye
- Debbie Lamprell
- Maria del Pilar Burton
- Rania Ibrahim
- Fethia Hassan
- Hania Hassan
- Choucair family (Nadia, Bassem, Mierna, Fatima, Zainab, Sirria)
- Hesham Rahman
- Anthony Disson
- Zainab Deen
- Jeremiah Deen
- Ali Yawar Jafari
- Gary Maunders
- Majorie Vital
- Ernie Vital
- Victoria King
- Alexandra Atala
- Tuccu-Ahemedin family (Mohamednur Tuccu, Amal Ahmedin, Amaya Tuccu-Ahmedin, Amna Mahmud Idris)
- Miah-Begum family (Kamru Miah, Rabeya Begum, Mohammed Hamid, Mohammed Hanif, Husna Begum)
- Fathia Ali Ahmed Elsanosi
- Abufars Ibrahim
- Isra Ibrahim
- Ligaya Moore
- Vincent Chiejina
- El-Wahabi family (Abdulaziz, Faouzia, Yasin, Nur Huda, Medhi)
- Khadija Khaloufi
- Jessica Urbano Ramirez
- Kedir family (Hashim Kedir, Nura Jemal, Firdaws Hashim, Yahya Hashim, Yaqub Hashim)
- Steve Power
- Eslah Elgwahry
- Mariem Elgwahry
- Berkto Haftom
- Biruk Haftom
- Gloria Trevisan
- Sakineh Afrasiabi
- Hamid Kani
- Isaac Paulos
- Mohammed al-Haj Ali
- Raymond “Moses” Bernard
- Fatemah Afrasiabi
- Belkadi family (Farah Hamdan, Omar Belkadi, Malak Belkadi, Leena Belkadi)
- Abdeslam Sebbar
Is Grenfell Tower still standing?
The tower is still standing, but in late 2021 it was revealed there are plans in place to demolish it over safety concerns, however this will not happen until after the fifth anniversary.
In July 2017, to cover up the blacked out, charred building, it was covered in a protective wrap, supported with scaffolding.
This is a lighter colour, and features a green heart - the symbol of the Grenfell survivors.
What was the response to the fire?
Many changes have been made due to the fire. Some of these are:
- Urgent fire safety tests on cladding from similar towers.
- Independent review of building regulations and fire safety commissioned.
- £200 million pledged from the government to replace similar cladding in other residential towers in England.