London landmarks turned green this morning to mark the one year anniversary since the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Thirteen sites including Downing Street and Kensington Palace glowed in a show of solidarity across the west London skyline.
The illuminations followed a number of memorial events held in North Kensington to remember the lives of the 72 people who were killed in the fire on June 13, 2017.
Hundreds of people took part in a silent march through the borough shortly after midnight, with tears streaming down the faces of mourners clutching photographs of their loved ones.
The crowd of around 100 people gathered at the south east cordon surrounding the covered-up tower block for a poignant vigil and memorial service where the victim’s names were read aloud.
One by one, relatives announced the names of the deceased accompanied by a flurry from a bongo drum, before pinning their pictures at the ‘wall of truth’ – a section of the fencing around the tower featuring messages and candles.
But the mood grew tense when a heated row erupted within the crowd. The outbreak interrupted the memorial and caused further anguish for a grieving family, who decided to leave.
On top of the tense atmosphere, was a lack of police presence – with just two officers, from Romford, Essex, at the scene.
One year on Family and friends of the victims who died in the Grenfell Tower disaster walked the streets of Kensington this morning in tribute
Justice Mourners gathered by the cordon surrounding the now covered up tower block to hear the names of the victims read aloud
Never forget Noha Baghdady, sister of Hesham Rahman who died in the fire, described the last year as ‘hell’ and said she thought of her late brother every day
Speaking to MailOnline, Tarek Gotti, who lost six members of his family in the disaster, said he was saddened and disappointed the memorial was interrupted.
The 42-year-old, who lives a minute from the tower, said ‘I just had enough and had to leave. It’s rude and it’s not fair that it was interrupted. This was supposed to be our time today to remember our loved ones. This is about everyone that died not just one person.’
He said ‘Nothing has changed here in a year. We as residents are traumatised. What we saw then was just rude. I am the one who has lost my family.’
Mr Gotti’s message to the people who caused the disturbance was ‘Don’t be selfish. We need to stay under one umbrella, this shouldn’t be all about one person or one group.’
Poignant Grenfell Tower and two neighbouring tower blocks illuminated green to mark one year since the disaster
Disappointed Tarek Gotti, who lost six members of his family in the disaster, said he was saddened and disappointed the memorial was interrupted by ‘rude’ members of the public
Sorrow Relatives holding photographs of their loved ones laid white roses and teddy bears at the scene of a memorial
Although now twelve months ago, memories of the devastating night were fresh in the minds of those who witnessed the devastation.
Mr Gotti added ‘I live just around the corner but I hate coming back here, it’s devastating. I came to show my respects but it is really hard for me. I have to see the tower block every day.’
Farhiya Abdi, 42, was one of the first to arrive at Grenfell from her home as the fire spread. She said ‘I saw everything from the start of that night and I couldn’t sleep for three weeks.
‘When I closed my eyes I would hear the screaming for help, see the children’s faces at the window again. I saw people jump to their death,’ she said earlier in the evening, at a remembrance event on a closed-off nearby street.’
For relatives of the victims, the last year has been long and hard as their fight for justice is at its infancy.
Noha Baghdady, 42, spoke to MailOnline days after the fire last year and shortly after she discovered her eldest rother Hesham Rahman had died in the blaze.
Paying tribute Kensington Palace, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, illuminated its windows out of respect to the victim’s who died
Grief Friends of victims wept as they marched silently to the base of the cordon surrounding Grenfell Tower
Silent march The grieving community came together to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire
Bereaved family members of those who died in the diaster wore green and held pictures of their loved ones as they marched towards the tower
The 57-year-old diabetic lived on the 21st floor but was disabled. When he called 999, he was told to stay inside his flat. The last his family heard from him was on the morning of the fire when he told his mother he was running out of battery.
Grenfell Tower and surrounding blocks lit up in green to mark a year since the moment the devastating fire took hold, claiming 72 lives.
Battersea Fire Station, Kensington Palace and Downing Street were among the buildings which turned green in a mark of solidarity across the West London skyline.
They were lit up at 00.54am on Thursday – the time off the first 999 call reporting the fire – until 5am. For the following four evenings they will be illuminated from 8pm until midnight.
The display is one of a series of commemorations and vigils taking place this week as the public inquiry takes a step back.
Speaking to MailOnline this morning, one year on, Mrs Baghdady said ‘Today is going to be a tough day. This gathering has been lovely and it’s surprising as I didn’t expect so many people to be here for us, it’s incredibly moving.’
Describing the past year, she said ‘It has been absolute hell. Every single day I think of Grenfell. I sleep, wake up – Grenfell. Whether it’s fighting for justice, writing reports for the inquiry or travelling, it’s very full on. It’s all consuming but we will do what we have to do.I just hope the community spirit holds up.’
Last year the mother spoke to MailOnline two days after she discovered her brother lost his life in the fire.
Speaking at the time, Mrs Baghdady spoke of how her brother was told repeatedly told to stay inside his flat on the 22nd floor by the authorities- and because of his disability he was unable to leave.
Mrs Baghdady said ‘I miss my brother terribly. He should be here right now. The fact he isn’t for something so silly means we are in so much pain. I have been sentenced to live in pain for the rest of my life and I will suffer until my dying day. It’s not fair.’
Looking to the future, she said ‘At the moment our focus is to make sure no other tower blocks have the same cladding but there are still people sleeping tonight in towers like Grenfell. Another disaster can happen, we need to stop it immediately otherwise there will be other families out there like us losing their loved ones.
Including Grenfell itself, a total of thirteen towers through London will glow green for four nights to mark the one-year anniversary since the disaster
Community Mourners wearing the colours and t-shirts which have come to represent the campaigning efforts following the tragedy were silent as the victim’s names were read aloud
Tears Many were crying as they held pictures of friends and family who died in the Grenfell Tower blaze one year ago
‘We are never going to get our people back so our fight now is to make sure this never happens again. We want our voices to be heard and hopefully people will listen.’
Mrs Baghdady was one of the families to be invited to Downing Street to meet Theresa May earlier this week.
The Prime Minster was heavily criticised last year for taking too long to meet survivors and community leaders. She this week apologised and admitted she was wrong.
For Mrs Baghdady, she said it is time to give Mrs May a chance. She described Downing Street as ‘very posh’ and said they were served champagne and fed while Theresa listened to their individual stories. ‘She’s trying to make up for last year, we have to give her credit for inviting us. Hopefully she will take seriously what we’ve been saying,’ she said.
The Prime Minster then planted bulbs with the children caught up in the tragedy in the garden to serve as a memorial.
Mrs Baghdady said her one wish is that other tower blocks in the UK with cladding are removed immediately and she hopes having met the Prime Minister that these concerns are addressed.
Organisers unveiled banners and t-shirts emblazoned with slogans demanding justice, one of several such events taking place.
Nearly everybody wore a green scarf – the adopted colour of the tragedy – while the tower was illuminated in green, along with Prime Minister Theresa May’s Downing Street office.
A mother who wished to remained unnamed told MailOnline with tears in her eyes ‘This shouldn’t have been able to happen. We shouldn’t be here looking at this tonight.’
Striking Grenfell Tower will be illuminated each night for the next four evenings
Relatives, survivors and friends of victims of the Grenfell tower fire walk to the tower to hold a vigil, one year after the fire
She told how on the night of the tragedy she had waved goodbye to a friend at midnight before returning to her Notting Hill home just a stones throw away. She woke up the next morning to learn the devastating news.
Twelve months on she said this evening she felt ‘compelled’ to return to the site.
Nineteen-year-old student Morgan Tanawa-Bamba said he felt he had to visit too. ‘I live just up the road. It feels very surreal seeing it lit up knowing at some point it’s going to get raised to the ground.
The Kensington teenager added ‘Tonight is bittersweet. You’re never going to forget the people who died there and tonight with it covered up you can almost imagine they are still alive inside there and are safe.’
Speaking about the council’s role in the disaster, he said ‘It’s all about money. It couldn’t get any worse than what happened. People predicted what would happen but the council didn’t listen. It’s just an utter, utter tragedy.’
Earlier this week May told parliament on Wednesday that the ‘unimaginable tragedy remains at the forefront of our minds’.
For the local community, they have had little choice during a traumatic and frustrating past 12 months.
‘I thought time would’ve healed us but time hasn’t done anything,’ said Chris Imafidon, 50, who knew six different families bereaved by the blaze through a local education charity he works for.
‘This is reviving the memories of that night, because we’re all out on the street again – I see the same faces,’ he added, surveying the other locals who had turned out in remembrance.
Among the attendees were former tower residents Marcio and Andreia Gomes, whose son was stillborn hours after the fire, and local firefighters who responded that night.
On a row of tables stretching at least 50 metres down the road, more than 100 community members shared a meal of Mediterranean food – dubbed an iftar for Muslim residents breaking their fasts during Ramadan.
A house close to Grenfell Tower is lit up in bright green light tonight as a community comes together to mark the one-year anniversary of the tragedy
Grenfell Tower is seen covered and illuminated with green light one year after the tower fire in London. A further 12 blocks will also glow green tonight as part of the commemorations
A man looks on at Grenfell Tower, which has now been covered and illuminated in green light as a tribute to the 72 residents who lost their lives a year ago tonight
The crowd cheered wildly when a London Underground train passing on tracks above stopped and sounded its horn, before the driver emerged from his cabin to unfurl a green flag.
The commemorations will continue on Thursday with church services, special prayers at a local mosque, wreath-laying and the unveiling of a community mosaic.
A silent walk will also be held – similar to the ones that take place on the 14th of every month – while banners in memory of the victims have been unfurled over the top four floors of the tower.
The fire started through a faulty fridge in the kitchen of a fourth-floor flat in the 24-storey tower.
Grenfell Tower is now clad in a white covering and with a huge banner draped around the upper floors, reading ‘GRENFELL FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS’
Relatives of those who died have recently provided heart-rending testimony about their loved ones’ final moments at the beginning of a public inquiry into the fire, reminding Britons of the shocking scale of the tragedy.
Stephanie Seddon, 24, a health outreach worker who has been on the ground since last June, said ‘lots of people are showing signs and symptoms of PTSD’, referring to post-traumatic stress disorder.
‘We’re here to support the community,’ she added.
Despite the support, residents argue the wealthy borough’s authorities have neglected the less affluent northern section home to Grenfell and surrounding public housing.
They also blame the fire’s spread on cladding installed during a recent refurbishment, while the fire service has come under the spotlight over its advice for residents to stay put.
A survey released Wednesday by ITV found 98 percent of relatives and survivors worried the policy remains, while 87 percent have no faith in the government.
But at the evening remembrance events, the overriding sentiment was solidarity.
‘We’re trying to see how we can heal together,’ said Imafidon. ‘It’s difficult.’
A woman poses with her freshly printed ‘Justice For Grenfell’ t-shirt
One year on Grenfell Tower went up in flames in the early hours of June 14, 2017
The memorials come just days after Metropolitan Police announced it would be investigating London Fire Brigade over their ‘stay put’ policy during the disaster.
The official advice given to the tower’s residents for the most part of the fire was to stay inside their flats.
A public inquiry into the tragedy has been pause this week as tributes take place.
JustGiving has been slammed after keeping hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations for the Grenfell Tower victims.
The company, which takes five per cent of all donations, has refused to offer up a cut of the donations.
Labour MP John Spellar told The Sun ‘I understand that they need to cover their costs. But they should also recognise that making a significant profit isn’t why people give their money to charity and they should see sense and cough up.’
The probe also heard heart-breaking tributes from those who lost loved ones in the devastating inferno last year.
Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick was visibly moved during hearings, which have now moved on to a fact-finding stage.
Speaking in the Commons yesterday, Prime Minister Theresa May said the ‘unimaginable tragedy remains at the forefront of our minds’.
She added ‘We are doing everything that we can to see that the survivors of Grenfell get the homes and support that they need and the truth and justice that they deserve.’
Over the next 24 hours, community leaders have organised a number of events to remember the victims of the fire.
Every hour overnight, the Lord’s prayer will be repeated, by clerics from local churches and at 1.30am, the time at which the fire took hold, the names of the 72 victims will be read aloud.
Some 72 white roses will be laid out the along with 72 teddy bears.
The memorial efforts this week come after the news London Fire Brigade will be investigated by the police over their ‘stay put’ policy.
An inquest into the deaths of the blaze’s 72 victims is also underway but has been paused for the next seven days.
A man gazes up towards the tower which, a year ago tonight, was the scene of Britain’s worst peace-time disaster since the end of World War II
Grenfell Tower is seen shrouded by scaffolding and covers one year after the tower fire
Hoardings in support of the victims of the Grenfell fire cover Grenfell Tower near Ladbroke Grove, west London
Pily Burton died seven months after the fire (PA)
A Grenfell Tower survivor whose wife is considered the 72nd victim of the fire has claimed authorities missed vital warning signs about her deteriorating health.
Nicholas Burton, 50, mourned the loss of his wife of more than 30 years, Maria del Pilar Burton, seven months after they were rescued from their 19th floor flat in the west London block.
The former catering manager, who was a leaseholder in the building, said the displacement caused his 74-year-old partner, a dementia sufferer known as Pily, great distress and confusion.
She suffered a stroke at a care home in the first few days of 2018 and never recovered, dying on January 29.
In his first detailed interview since her death, Mr Burton claimed his wife ‘passed because of the failing of the system’, adding ‘She didn’t pass because it was her time.’
He described Pily as Grenfell’s 72nd victim because the couple were ‘never reunited’ after they escaped the inferno.
Mr Burton told the Press Association ‘It’s now five months since my wife passed on and I’m still waiting for answers from the people I’ve asked these questions of, nothing has come from that.’
The widower stressed Pily’s death was not the ‘fault’ of the care home, instead expressing frustration at the doctors and mental health services who assessed her.
Mr Burton gave a moving tribute to his wife at the public inquiry into the fire (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
He continued ‘With all the problems I was highlighting to them, they, the powers-that-be, didn’t act on it.
‘I could see exactly what was happening but their protocol was ‘we know best’, even though I had seen that every day she was falling over, every day she was having a different problem, every day she was distraught, every day she was having a different breakdown, every day she doesn’t know where is on the street and every night I’m having to deal with my wife. But no action. I sit down with them – ‘we know best, don’t worry’.
He declined to give precise details about the failings in the care of his wife.
The path to Pily becoming known as the 72nd victim of the Grenfell Tower fire, a title now acknowledged by the inquiry into the blaze, progressed gradually following her death.
Last month, Mr Burton gave a moving tribute to her at the probe’s commemoration hearings, alongside relatives for dozens of other victims.
‘I said she was like 71-plus-one, because it is hard to encroach on the bereaved families and add somebody on,’ he said.
‘The bereaved families took it upon themselves to support me, saying ‘Nick, you’re one of us’, and the inquiry understood that, Pily is part of the Grenfell tragedy.
‘My wife never came out and we were never reunited from the day she went into hospital.
‘She never came out and into my care or anything else, she went from one hospital to another hospital to a care home.
‘She didn’t have her own life and because of the failings of the system again, that was why she passed.
‘She didn’t pass because it was her time. She passed because of the failing of the system, their inaction to support and look after and make a plan.’
People queue to get a screen-printed t-shirt, reading ‘Justice 4 Grenfell’, near the Grenfell Tower
Messages of condolence for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire are pictured on a fence near to the burned-out shell of Grenfell Tower block in west London on June 13, 2018
Sixty-nine victims were remembered during seven harrowing days of commemorations as the inquiry into the disaster opened at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel.
Each one somebody’s father, mother, brother, sister, relative, friend or neighbour, they ranged in age from an unborn baby to an 84-year-old woman.
The families and friends of three victims, Marco Gottardi, flat 202, Abdeslam Sebbar, flat 81, and Sheila, flat 137, chose not to publicly commemorate their loved ones.
Here are the people who lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire in the order they were remembered by their family and friends
– Logan Gomes (floor 21)
Logan Gomes was stillborn in hospital after his mother Andreia escaped from the 21st floor with her husband and two young girls.
His mother and father gave an emotional tribute to their ‘beautiful sleeping angel’ sharing images of them cradling the newborn, whose due date was in August.
His father, Marcio Gomes, said through tears ‘He might not be here physically but he will always be here in our hearts, and will be forever. I know he’s here, with God, right next to me, giving me strength and courage to take this forward.’
– Denis Murphy (floor 14)
Father-of-one Denis Murphy, 56, was described as the ‘lynchpin’ of his family whose ‘cheeky smile’ was hard to forget.
His sister Anne-Marie recalled during her tribute how Mr Murphy had once joined the Unite bus union to the bafflement of his family, as he could not drive a car, ‘let alone a bus’.
‘The reason is that he wanted to be a part of the campaign to make his voice and the voice of the community in Grenfell Tower heard.’
– Mohamed Amied Neda (floor 23)
Mohamed Amied Neda, 57, lived on the top floor of the block and died from injuries consistent with a fall.
Known as Saber, he had fled the Taliban in Afghanistan to find a new home in Britain with his wife Flora and son Farhad, moving into Grenfell Tower in 1999.
His final recorded words – left for family members on the night of the fire – were played during one of the inquiry’s more harrowing moments, and were ‘Goodbye, we are leaving this world now, goodbye. I hope I haven’t disappointed you. Goodbye to all.’
– Joseph Daniels
Little was disclosed about Joseph Daniels during a presentation on the first day of the inquiry, as his son, Samuel, spoke for only seconds.
The 69-year-old moved to Grenfell Tower in 1982.
Samuel requested no applause before saying ‘The events of that night took his life and all traces of his existence from this world. He stood no chance of getting out and this should never have happened.’
– Mary Mendy and Khadija Saye (floor 20)
Mary Mendy was remembered in presentations across two days, during which it was heard she had moved to the UK from Gambia, west Africa, in the 1980s.
The 54-year-old died in Grenfell Tower with her daughter Khadija Saye, having moved there in 1993.
A statement by her niece Marion Telfer read at the inquiry said ‘She was warm and kind, she welcomed everyone into her home. Grenfell Tower was a place all her family and friends could find shelter if they ever needed it.’
Mary Mendy and Khadija Saye
One of the fire’s most high-profile victims, Khadija Saye, 24, died when she was on the cusp of a major career breakthrough.
Her friend David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, was among those on stage during her commemoration, which featured a snippet from the BBC documentary she had been due to appear in, following her as she launched a photography exhibition in Venice.
Her father, Mohammadou Saye, said in a statement read by his solicitor ‘Khadija said to me one day ‘Daddy, I’m in love with images’ – it was this passion that Khadija pursued to the end because it gave her great satisfaction and brough her some joy and happiness.
– Debbie Lamprell (floor 19)
The 45-year-old Debbie Lamprell, who worked front of house at Opera Holland Park (OHP), was described as always having a smile on her face and living a ‘happy and fulfilled’ life.
In a statement, her mother Miriam said ‘She really loved her work, she was really, really happy with her life.
Where the victims were found
‘You rarely saw my Debbie without a smile. People took to Debbie because she was a friendly, easy person.’
– Maria del Pilar Burton (floor 19)
Maria del Pilar Burton is now considered the 72nd victim of the fire, despite dying in January after experiencing a stroke.
The 74-year-old, known as Pily, suffered from dementia, a condition which worsened badly after the disaster and meant she never left hospital, her husband, Nicholas Burton, said.
Her vibrancy and passion for cooking, fashion and dancing were among the qualities remembered by Mr Burton during the inquiry, who said ‘She was a unique, beautiful, exceptional person until this tragedy had taken it away.
‘It took away her dignity and everything we had in this world. And let me tell you, no matter what indignities my wife had to suffer, my Pily was perfect.’
– Rania Ibrahim, Fethia Hassan, Hania Hassan (floor 23)
Mother Rania Ibrahim died alongside her two young children Fethia, a four-year-old known as ‘Fou Fou’ and Hania, three.
The 31-year-old live-streamed the scene of the blaze to friends and family on social media, who watched helplessly as her flat became clogged with smoke.
Her husband, Hassan Awadh Hassan, who was in Egypt at the time, told the inquiry ‘I’m not just standing here crying because my wife is gone. My wife and my kids are very lucky. Because the way it’s going, I wish if I go like them. I wait for my day.’
– Choucair family
Three generations of the Choucair family, who lived in two flats on the 22nd floor, were wiped out by the blaze.
Nadia, 33, her husband Bassem Choukair, 40, their three children Mierna, 13, Fatima, 11, and Zainab, three, died along with their grandmother Sirria, 60.
Hisam Choucair, brother of Nadia and the son of Sirria, told the room ‘In one night I have lost half of my family. I feel like a stranger now. It has destroyed everything. I feel like part of me has been taken away.’
The Choucair family
The inquiry heard how Sirria was particularly close to her granddaughter Zainab, who she looked after while Nadia worked as a school teacher.
Mr Choucair’s sister Nadia was a ‘fighter’ who knew her mind and would always stand up for her rights like their mother, he said.
Her husband Bassem was an ‘excellent father, kind, loving, considerate,’ who was an ‘incredibly conscientious’ supervisor at Marks and Spencer.
Eleven-year-old Fatima was described as a gifted gymnast, while Mierna, 13, loved sports and drawing, and could not choose whether to become a doctor or lawyer.
– Hesham Rahman
Hesham Rahman, 57, died in his flat on the top floor of Grenfell Tower.
During a tribute to him, a moving video montage was played, closing with Omar, his infant relative, saying ‘We would do so many things together. Those things have sadly come to end.’
His nephew Karim Mussilhy read a poem he had written in February 2016 ‘My will, for who will remember me one day.
‘Remember my presence before my departure. To see a smile on your face when I’m gone, a prayer from your heart.
‘No tears or sadness near my grave.
‘If we shared a memory that’s in your heart, always remember it with a smile.
‘For who will remember me one day, remember my presence before my departure.’
– Anthony Disson
Anthony Disson, known as Tony, was hailed as a doting grandfather who encouraged his children’s passion for boxing.
The 65-year-old was remembered by his family at the inquiry, including son Alfie, who said he had named his baby girl after him.
He said in a video recorded message ‘If he was here now he’d be over the moon at what we called her.’
– Zainab Deen and Jeremiah Deen (floor 14)
Mother Zainab Deen, 32, died in Grenfell Tower alongside her young son Jeremiah.
She had moved to the UK when she was just 16 and had once dreamed of becoming a pop star.
Her family said she was a ‘beautiful, smart, warm, caring and a confident and outgoing young woman’ with a ‘lively personality’ and ‘great sense of humour’.
One of the youngest victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, Jeremiah Deen, two, was said to be ‘loving, full of life, liked playing football and loved exploring and adventuring’.
He was found at his mother’s side on the 14th floor of the block.
He had attended the Clare Garden nursery until his ‘sweet life was cut short’ in the June 14 blaze, his family said, adding ‘We cannot dwell on the sadness or keep asking the question ‘why this happened to our family’. Neither will we find a reason why such a handsome and cheerful boy was taken from us at the age of two.
– Ali Yawar Jafari (floor 11)
The 82-year-old was fondly remembered by his family as an animal-lover who once waited for three days to free a pigeon whose legs were trapped in twine.
The grandfather, who was pulled from Grenfell Tower by firefighters after losing contact with his family, was described as a ‘kind man and husband’ who loved travelling.
His son Hamid Ali Jafari said in a video tribute ‘I think the happiest moment he had was when my son was born, because he was attached to him a lot.
‘Both of them were connected to each other so sometimes when I see my son I feel like my dad’s soul came in my son.’
– Gary Maunders (floor 19)
Gary Maunders, 57, was remembered at the inquiry as an avid Manchester United fan who swapped the football for the paintbrush when a top-level career failed to materialise.
He was found in his top-floor flat in Grenfell Tower – and buried in the kit of the football team he cherished.
Ms Pumar, the mother of his two youngest children, said ‘The loss of their father, his love and presence in their life has been devastating for our children. They miss their dad more than words can describe and have been left with a huge part of their lives missing.’
– Majorie Vital and Ernie Vital (floor 19)
Mother and son Majorie Vital, 68, and Ernie, 50, lived on the 19th floor of Grenfell Tower.
Their bodies were so badly burnt in the fire they had moulded together, her surviving son, whose name was not given, said in a film shown to the room.
He said ‘It reminded me, as a child growing up he was constantly in my mother’s arms, and when they were fused together it symbolised to me their level of closeness that they had, that umbilical cord, that my brother still relatively had intact.’
– Victoria King and Alexandra Atala (floor 20)
Mother and daughter Victoria King, 71, and Alexandra Atala, 40, were commemorated in a brief statement sent by an aunt who lived in Australia.
Ms King and her sister Penny Pearce had only recently restored contact following years of separation.
She said ‘Eventually, thanks to the Salvation Army family tracing I was able to get in touch with her and my niece, Alexandra, living in Grenfell Tower. If this had not been the case, no family member would have known they had perished as no-one knew they were still living there.
‘The time we had back being in touch meant a great deal, I wish it had been much longer. They were, and are, still together and that is what is important. The fire is a tragedy for all of us.’
– Tuccu-Ahmedin family (floor 19)
Mohamednur Tuccu, 44, his wife Amal Ahmedin, 35, and their three-year-old daughter Amaya Tuccu-Ahmedin, all died. Amna Mahmud Idris, 27, was visiting her cousin Ms Ahmedin at the time of the fire and also died.
Ms Ahmedin’s sister Feruza Afewerki said ‘Those we grew up with, who shared our fondest memories with, celebrated and mourned, have had their lives stolen from them while the whole of London watched.’
Winta, whose last name was not given, said ‘cheeky’ Amaya was the love of her mother’s life and her sister Ms Ahmedin an incredible mother.
– Miah-Begum family (floor 17)
Kamru Miah, 79, Rabeya Begum, 64, Mohammed Hamid, 28, Mohammed Hanif, 26 and Husna Begum, 22, were found on the 17th floor.
Their sole surviving immediate family member, Mohammed Hakim, said ‘I can say with my hand on my heart that I am extremely proud of my family remaining close to each other in their last moments before passing away.
‘I am even more proud as a brother that my siblings did not leave my parents behind, even though they might have had the chance to escape.’
Mr Hakim’s parents, who were born in Bangladesh, had mobility issues. His father had experienced two strokes and a heart attack.
He described him as dedicated father and husband with a heart of gold who loved action movies.
His mother was ‘beautiful, loving and generous’ and full of love and laughter.
Where the survivors were rehoused
Mohammed Hamid, he said, was ‘a trooper, a lionheart, brave and loyal’.
His other brother, Mohammed Hanif, was talented at drawing and design and loved animation and sci-fi movies.
His sister Husna Begum – the family’s ‘perfect little star’- valued her friends and family and would never forget an anniversary or birthday.
– Fathia Ali Ahmed Elsanosi, Abufars Ibrahim and Isra Ibrahim (floor 23)
The 73-year-old was found on the 23rd floor alongside her children Abufars Ibrahim, 39, and Isra Ibrahim, 33.
Her sister Hayat Elsanosi said in a statement read through a friend on Thursday afternoon ‘Fathia came to this country as a refugee seeking security and safety after her struggle with the regime in Sudan, where she and her children had been subjected to harassment.
She felt safe here in London. Because of the way she died, this now feels like a illusion for us and definitely for her.’
Said Essaouini, the husband of Isra Ibrahim, said he believed she could have escaped but did not want to leave her mother.
He said ‘I will never find no-one like her, never ever, ever a woman like Isra again, and I am ripped up to pieces, only God knows how much I’m ripped up,’ he added.
The brother of Mr Ibrahim, who he called Fras, said he was a very brave man who loved cooking.
– Ligaya Moore
Ligaya Moore, 78, loved her Grenfell Tower flat on the 21st floor as it made her feel on ‘top of the world’.
She had lived in the UK for 43 years and enjoyed long walks with friends across London.
Her friend Nenita Bunggay said during an emotional tribute that Mrs Moore was her ‘mother, sister, everything’, adding ‘She was so proud to live in Grenfell. She would always say every time we walked past ‘Nenita, that’s my building, 21st floor. It’s a big building and I love it so much, even though I’m alone there, I love seeing it every day.’
– Vincent Chiejina (floor 17)
Vincent Chiejina, 60, was found dead on the 17th floor of the tower, on which he lived.
In a video, his younger sister Obi told of how the pair had spent their early years in Nigeria before their family moved to the UK.
As a teenager he loved science fiction and ‘watched religiously’ Star Trek, while he excelled at maths in school.
His sister said ‘I think he was also quite good at looking after people who were quite vulnerable like himself, so would he never reject anybody just because they were less privileged than himself, and he was always good at spotting that, not exploiting it, but wanting to quietly support them with whatever troubles they had but also making them feel good.’
-The El-Wahabi family (floor 21)
Father Abdulaziz, 52, wife Faouzia, 41, and children Yasin, 20, Nur Huda, 16, and Mehdi, eight, all died.
Abdulaziz, a porter at University College London Hospital for 22 years who was known as ‘Aziz’, was described as a ‘popular colleague known for being kind to his patients’.
Born in Morocco, he moved to the UK as a child and became the heart of the family when his father died.
Mother Faouzia El-Wahabi, was remembered as a wonderful baker who had a talent for sewing.
Yasin was a university student who studied part-time so he could continue his contributions to the community, officiating as a football referee at local games.
Nur Huda was in the middle of her GCSEs when she died and was described as an inspiration to those around her.
‘We all wanted to be like her,’ Mariam El-Wahabi, her younger cousin, said.
The youngest, Mehdi, was described by his head teacher as a ‘true team player’ who loved sports and was particularly talented at karate. He was the ‘baby’ of the family who collected toys and displayed them on his bedroom desk.
‘It is difficult knowing that Mehdi will never be able to play with us ever again,’ his nine-year-old cousin Sara said.
– Khadija Khaloufi
The 52-year-old was remembered by her husband of 27 years, Sabah Abdullah, as a unique person who always tried to make people feel comfortable.
They lived together on the 17th floor, and she was always thinking of and helping her friends and neighbours.
He said their children could not believe what happened to her, adding ‘I am not trying to make my wife an angel or something, but to them she was more than an angel.’
Her younger brother was not able to attend due to delays with his visa application.
– Jessica Urbano Ramirez (floor 20)
Twelve-year-old Jessica was just two weeks away from celebrating her 13th birthday with a sleepover with friends.
Her older sister Melanie said ‘Jess was reaching that age where you just begin to plan your future.
Jessica Urbano Ramirez
‘Listening to some of these other pen portraits this week has been difficult for us as we all wish she could have done more and fulfilled her potential.’
– The Kedir family (floor 22)
Hashim Kedir, 44, died with his wife Nura Jemal, 35, daughter Firdows Hashim, 12, and sons Yahya Hashim, 13, and Yaqub Hashim, six.
The family were remembered during a long and poignant series of tributes, which included a video of Firdows singing in front of her school.
Mr Kedir’ father died barely two weeks on from the fire, the inquiry was told.
Relative Assema Kedir Habib said in a statement ‘I still have a problem accepting the fact that the UK, one of the most powerful countries in the world, could not do anything more in the year 2017 to save them. To save what was left of them.’
– Steve Power (floor 15)
Steve Power ran into the burning Grenfell Tower to make sure his daughter, Sherrie was awake.
The 63-year-old father-of-five was an old-school dance DJ who, despite his white Irish heritage, was known to shout ‘Jah Rastafari’ during sets.
He died with his three devoted dogs wrapped around him, his daughter told the inquiry, adding ‘He needs justice, all the victims do, because as much as he loved that block he didn’t deserved to die in it.’
– Eslah and Mariem Elgwahry (floor 22)
Mother and daughter Eslah and Mariem Elgwahry died together on the top floor of Grenfell Tower, while brother Ahmed listened to the horror over the phone.
Mariem was remembered for her family-orientated approach to life and her appetite for challenges, ranging from paragliding to endurance events. She had been scheduled to attend an interview for her ‘dream’ job on the morning that she died.
Little was said about Eslah by her son during a poignant commemoration at the inquiry, simply that she was an excellent Egyptian cook in poor health.
Ahmed Elgwahry said ‘But what I will say is that my mother truly touched many hearts and was a strong woman who raised Mariem and I on our own since my father passed.’
– Berkti Haftom and Biruk Haftom (floor 18)
The 29-year-old Eritrean mother was 10 weeks pregnant when she died.
Berkti Haftom had fled her conflict-ridden home country when she was young, leaving behind a two-year-old son, Nahom Tesfay. She later gave birth to Biruk Haftom, who was 12 when he died in Grenfell Tower.
Her sisters said in a statement read to the inquiry ‘Our sister Berkti was a brilliant mum. She gave so much love to her sons. Biruk loved her, Nahom loved her and she loved them in return.
Biruk Haftom had celebrated his 12th birthday a few months before the fire.
His family said in a statement at the inquiry ‘Biruk died with his mum. We have no doubt that our sister would have been holding and hugging him to the last, protecting and comforting her little boy, despite knowing that there was no hope for them inside that tower.
‘Biruk entered this world greeted by love, the love of his mother’s face, and we are sure he left this world looking at the love of that same beautiful face. These thoughts sustain us in our darkest hours.’
– Gloria Trevisan (floor 23)
Italian architect Gloria Trevisan, 26, was robbed of the chance to fulfil a promising career when she died with her boyfriend Marco Gottardi.
At the inquiry her employer Peregrine Bryant said ‘even in that short time she demonstrated what she could do and demonstrated what talent she had’.
A voiceover in a video tribute package said Gloria was a ‘beautiful girl’ whose kindness and big heart ‘didn’t go unnoticed for anyone who met her’.
Her mother told the inquiry ‘Gloria was a girl full of life. She really loved life and, although she missed the sun, she missed the food and she missed Italy generally, she was very happy for the work and the job that she had found here, so she was happily settled here.’
– Sakineh Afrasiabi (floor 18)
Mother Sakineh Afrasiabi, 65, lived on the 18th floor, but was found alongside her younger sister on the 23rd floor.
She loved the amazing view across London from her flat in Grenfell Tower, her daughter said in a statement read to the inquiry.
She said ‘I am glad that my mother at least did not die alone but it terrifies me every time I think about how scared my mother and her sister must have been.’
The disabled 65-year-old grandmother should never have been housed above the fourth floor due to her ailments, the inquiry heard.
She was remembered as a big-hearted and caring mother, whose quirks included talking to birds in parks, much to the incredulity of her family.
Her son Sharok said ‘If you want to look at the face of God, if you want to see what love is, if you are lucky enough to have your mother, just look at your mother – there she is, that’ the meaning of love.’
– Hamid Kani (floor 18)
The 61-year-old Iranian satirist Hamid Kani died just a few weeks away from a return to the country from which, for a time, he was exiled.
Hamid Kani, who lived in Grenfell Tower for 22 years, was remembered as a good-humoured chef whose works ridiculing the Iranian regime saw him hit a travel ban.
Tributes were paid to the 18th floor resident by his friend Masoud Shahabeddin.
The ‘outpouring of love’ that followed the tragedy would have made him ‘proud’, his friend said, adding ‘I hope this will be the legacy of all the lost souls of Grenfell Tower.’
– Isaac Paulos (floor 18)
There was an emotional commemoration made to the five-year-old who died, his father said, after being told to stay in his burning flat.
Isaac Paulos, the eldest of two little boys, was a ‘beautiful little boy, with so much potential’, the inquiry heard.
The youngster loved school, taekwondo and swimming, he recalled, while teachers spoke of how the outdoor park was his favourite place.
His father Paulos Tekle said ‘I want to know why I was physically stopped from leaving the flat at about 2am. Why we were kept inside for so long? I want answers. If I had not listened to the fire brigade my son would have likely been alive today.’
– Mohammad al-Haj Ali (floor 14)
The 23-year-old Mohammad al-Haj Ali had been in the process of setting up a new life in the UK after fleeing the war in Syria.
He had chosen to remain in Grenfell Tower as it burnt because he did not want to abandon a child trapped there, his friend Mahmoud Al-Karad said.
‘He was in there with a mother and her child. I told him to get out, that he should leave. His reply shows the kind of man that he was – he said ‘How can I leave? How can I leave the child?’. He also told me to tell his family that he loved them.’
– Raymond ‘Moses’ Bernard (floor 23)
The 63-year-old Raymond Bernard, affectionately known as Moses, was hailed a hero for sheltering six Grenfell Tower residents in his top floor flat.
The grandfather-of-three, who arrived in 1969 from Trinidad and had lived in Grenfell Tower for more than 30 years, offered his bed to terrified neighbours while he awaited his fate sitting on the floor.
His dog Marley also died in the fire.
‘My beloved Ray was my modern day Moses, my hero,’ his sister Bernadette Bernard said. ‘Ray always had a smile on his face. He knew how to love without expecting anything in return.’
– Fatemeh Afrasiabi (visiting her sister on 18th floor)
Mrs Afrasiabi was born in Abadan, Iran, and was talented at sewing and painting, despite never having had a formal lesson in the latter.
In a video made by Mr Samimi, her daughters recalled how their would make clothes for their dolls.
The 59-year-old would often sing during chores, her daughter Sara said, describing her voice as ‘beautiful’ and ‘truly soothing’.
‘She loved her children, she would do everything for us,’ another daughter said.
– The Belkadi family (floor 20)
The father of Farah Hamdan wept as he paid tribute to the 31-year-old, her husband Omar Belkadi, 32, and children Malak Belkadi, eight, and six-month-old Leena Belkadi, found in her arms.
Farah Hamdan and Omar Belkadi
Hamdan El Alami, speaking through an interpreter, said ‘Death has separated us, and they left me torn into pieces.
Mr Belkadi, who delivered takeaways, was like a son to him, he said, adding that he was extremely honest and would never say no to him.
The couple’s children were ‘really polite’, he recalled, and he said of his daughter ‘There is nobody in the neighbourhood who does not know Farah, all people know her.’
Here are the 30 errors which resulted in the Grenfell Tore fire which left 72 people dead.
1 There is no statutory requirement for central alarm systems in tower blocks because it would conflict with the policy of residents ‘staying put’ in flats.
2 No sprinklers.
3 Firefighters should have directed their hoses on or above the fire, but videos show they were being targeted below.
4 A pipe system to get water up the 24-storey block could not cope and was overloaded – leaving the upper floors, where most people died, vulnerable.
5 Water pipe failure meant fire crews had to pump their own water onto the fire.
Firefighters should have directed their hoses on or above the fire, but videos show they were being targeted below
6 The failure of the fire lift system delayed firefighters.
7 Advice for residents to stay put in the event of a fire was futile within half an hour of the blaze breaking out – but still slavishly adhered to for another 80 minutes.
8 Combustible cladding panels and insulation systems were ruled ‘substantially to blame’.
9 Two types of cladding and four different insulation layers did not comply with building regulations.
10 Two cavity barriers did not have the required fire performance certificates.
11 The cladding produced toxic smoke that slowed the firefighters as it forced them to wear breathing apparatus.
12 Designers and builders had no idea how the cladding system would perform in a fire as no tests were carried out.
Two types of cladding and four different insulation layers did not comply with building regulations
13 Neither the London Fire Brigade nor Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, which was responsible for Grenfell, carried out risk assessments of the cladding.
14 Flammable aluminium panels fixed to the tower and on more than 300 other blocks across England were never subjected to a full British Standard fire test.
15 Stairwell was too narrow and soon became impassable thanks to smoke, darkness, firefighters and distressed and dying victims.
16 An architectural feature called a ‘crown’ at the top of the building caught fire and also helped the blaze spread horizontally.
17 Design of tower blocks is supposed to ‘compartmentalise’ fires into individual flats – but this was not effective at Grenfell.
18 Ventilation system for removing smoke from lobbies failed.
19 Fire stops between each floor were not installed correctly, meaning nothing stopped the blaze leaping up the tower.
20 A ‘culture of non-compliance’ appeared to exist in the maintenance of the tower.
21 Most of the fire doors leading to the 120 flats were relatively new but did not comply with building regulations.
Design of tower blocks is supposed to ‘compartmentalise’ fires into individual flats – but this was not effective at Grenfell
22 Some doors failed within 20 minutes even though they should have blocked fire for an hour.
23 Doors were fitted with a variety of different locks, hinges and letter plates that could significantly reduce fire resistance.
24 Forty-eight doors had glazing that failed and allowed flames and smoke to pass directly through.
25 Fourteen of the doors to Grenfell’s flats were of unknown origin.
26 Some doors designed to ‘self-close’ failed to do so, allowing the fire to spread more quickly.
27 Doors were left open by fire hoses and in one case, a body.
28 Defective windows installed in the 2012-16 refurbishment allowed the fire to spread from a single kitchen to the external cladding through gaps in frames.
29 Windows had no fire-resistant cavity barriers encasing them and these openings were surrounded by combustible material.
30 During refurbishment, the windows were fitted in an ‘improvised manner’ that may have made them less safe.
Notting Hill housing chief Kate Davies is to mark today’s first anniversary of the Grenfell fire – in which eight of her tenants died – by launching a second career as a fashion guru
A housing chief is to mark today’s first anniversary of the Grenfell fire – in which eight of her tenants died – by launching a second career as a fashion guru.
After survivors, neighbours and politicians take part in events to commemorate the disaster, Kate Davies, head of the Notting Hill Genesis social housing organisation, will host a party to promote her book, entitled Making Life More Beautiful.
Ms Davies made headlines three years ago when she said a shocking event was necessary to end prejudice against those living in state-subsidised homes.
She told a conference that ‘either we need an appalling fire where some beautiful young children die, or a riot’.
The Grenfell fire last June killed 72 people, including eight in three flats used by the Notting Hill group to house previously homeless families.
Ms Davies, whose pay package from her publicly financed organisation is worth more than £250,000 a year, now aims to turn her skill as a dressmaker into another source of income.
Her book will be launched at an event this evening at the headquarters of the housing trust. Followers of her fashion blog have been told they can enjoy a drink in the garden of the HQ building.
Copies of the book will be available for £14.99, ‘with a personal dedication if you would like one’.
She said in the blog that the book ‘is close to done and then I can look forward to the party!’
Grenfell Tower in west London is illuminated in green to mark a year since the moment the devastating fire took hold, claiming 72 lives
She added ‘It’s the first anniversary of Grenfell and a number of my friends will be involved in special events in the area.’
But she said ‘It is a big day for me and I am very grateful so many have decided to come along.’
Kathy Gyngell, co-editor of the Conservative Woman website, said ‘It is a pity Ms Davies is not spending her time and effort working out how to reform social housing, which is in urgent need of change to cut bureaucracy and cost.
‘It has to be more efficient and accountable. Her decision to stage this party seems in questionable taste.’
The book offers ‘sharp observation, half a century of dressmaking knowledge and glorious photographs of beautiful women – all brought together to help you make your life more beautiful’.
Privately educated Ms Davies, 62, has been chief executive of the Notting Hill group for 14 years, after an earlier career as an ultra-Left political activist.
The Grenfell fire last June killed 72 people, including eight in three flats used by the Notting Hill group to house previously homeless families
The organisation is now one of the biggest housing associations in southern England.
During the 1980s she was a leading figure in the Revolutionary Communist Party, which supported the IRA and which tried to persuade Brixton residents to fight the police.
In more recent times she was criticised by Labour supporters after producing a report for a Right-leaning think tank founded by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.
A Notting Hill Genesis spokesman said ‘This is a private event to launch Kate Davies’ book on the subject of fashion.
‘It has been produced independently of the housing association and in no way detracts from the efforts to remember those so tragically lost in the Grenfell tragedy.
‘Notting Hill Genesis staff will be remembering those affected, including our tenants who sadly lost their lives, throughout the day and taking part in the national silence at midday.’
He added ‘The event is being held at our offices outside of business hours, and therefore has no effect on the work we do as an organisation.
‘As such, no fee is being charged for the room, though any additional costs are being paid by Kate Davies.’
Grenfell Tower is now covered over, with banners at the top showing green hearts and the message ‘Forever in our hearts.’
News Source DailyMailsNews