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Grenfell Tower Fire, Latimer Road, W11


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not scrolled through the thread yet, sorry if posted already

538 "missing" residents from the tower

They will not report anyone dead until they can accurately confirm the death which is partly to blame for the death toll

But I still think they have found more dead people than that and are blatantly lying

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Grenfell tower ..a firefighter's account. Huge respect to these men and women, so Brave.
If you have a spare 10 minutes this is a harrowing personal account from a firefighter working at the Grenfell Tower fire. All emergency personnel must receive the appropriate counselling after this to help them cope going forward.....
Somethings I will miss out as they don't need to be said, some I can't say, other things I will simplify so hopefully everyone can understand them, I'm not looking for praise I just want to let you know we did all we could. 
------------
As always we were woken with a start, the lights came on and the automated tannoy voice started shouting our call signs. It never fails to set your heat racing. Getting dressed I looked at the clock, I'd only lay down less than a hour ago. Time to see what we've got this time.. 
Down the pole to the trucks and it's here I'm handed the call slip make pumps 25... what! No..
That's a big incident. 
Wait.... I don't know where this is.. it's not on our ground. 
We have to look it up and then we're out the doors.
We arrived about 0120hrs but due to the way cars are parked in the streets and the fire engines that are arriving with us we couldn't get closer than 4-5 streets away from the building. Other trucks were closer they would be setting up water ready for us.
We could see this was a bad one immediately. The sky was glowing. Leaving our truck we started quickly towards it. Picking up pace we are carrying our BA sets on our back, while making our way we are trying to read the conditions in front of us, trying to take in as much information as we could. How big is the tower, where is the fire, where is the fire going next, how's it behaving, how many flats are internally affected, how many people are in there?
We mustered outside the entrance. Parts of the building we already starting to fall down on to the surrounding area.
As we entered the building the fire on the outside was raging from the top to the bottom. 
Walking up to the bridgehead on the 3rd floor we were told to look at a floor plan that had been hastily drawn on a wall. 
We stood looking at it waiting at entry control to be given instructions my BA partner and I (a new mother herself) stood waiting with other firefighters waiting to see what information there was available. Then we received our brief... 23rd floor people stuck in their flat go! 
23rd floor? I repeat back.. giving the flat number I received to the Watch manager. 
She confirms. I turned at told my BA as the reality of how high we are going to try and go on a single cylinder of air.
Weighed down carrying 30kg+ of equipment not including our firekit and breathing apparatus (BA) we passed through entry control handing in our tallies and confirming our brief. 
We made our way up a crowed stairwell struggling to make progress, at times unable to pass because of the amount of people on the stairs. The stairwells were full of other BA crews bringing people down all in various states and conditions.
The smoke grew thicker with each floor we went up. No proper floor numbers on the stairwells after about the 5th floor made it hard to know where you were. Someone before us had tried to write them on the wall with chinagraph pencil but this didn't last long. The dirty smoke was covering the walls with a film of blackness
Around the 9th floor we lost all visibility and the heat was rising. Still we continued up and up through the blackness. We reached what we believed to be the 19/20th floor but there was no way to tell. It was here where we found a couple trying to find their way out, panicking, choking, blinded by the thick toxic air.
A quick gauge check showed us that the amount of floors we'd climbed had taken its toll, we were getting low on air. There's no way we could make it to the 23rd and back to the bridgehead.
The couple were shouting and screaming at us through the coughing, trying to tell us there were 5 more people on the floor above!
Now I had horrible decisions to make and a very short amount of time to make them.
In what I think would of been less than a minute these are all the things I had going through my head. 
I will list a few of them for you. 
All of which I needed to consider before making my decision:........
•Now that we've stopped and lost our rhythm on the stairs would we have enough air to leave this couple and try to reach the next floor?
•Was the information we are getting from these people was correct. After all they are frantically panicking as they choke and suffer from the heat.
•If we let them carry on down the stairs alone would they or could they find their own way out?
•If we went up another floor would we actually find the 5?
•If we found them what state would they be in? Could the two of us get that many out especially one or more are unconscious?
•How would we decided who to take?
•Do we have enough air to make it back down to safety ourselves from where we are?
•Should I be considering asking my BA partner a "new mother" to risk even more than she already has...?
•Can I accept/live with the thought that saving two lives is better than taking the risk to go up and potentially saving no one?
Ahh!! Come on think...!
Am I doing enough? 
Can I give more? 
Am I forgetting any of my training....?
Stop....
Breath.....
Think.....
•Why haven't we seen another crew for so long?
•Will another crew find them?
•Are we really where we think we are?
•The radios are playing up... have we missed a important message.
•Have all crews been pulled out?
•Is the structure still safe?
Come on make a decision... and make it quick these people are choking.......
Ok Ok Ok!
Dam! 
Come on!! Think!! 
Right... ok
Decision made!
I do a double check... ask my partner...
Is it the right decision..?
Ahhh 
I'm doubting myself, 
Ahhh! there's no time for this! 
Come on get on with it...
Right! Make the call!
I try to radio down to entry control.
"Alpha Control Priority!"......
No response....
"Alpha Control Priority!" 
Still No response....
Where are they... what's going on?!?
"Alpha Control Priority!"
.....................
.....................
Did they answer... it's hard to tell.. the signal is all broken I think I can just about hear something.
"Alpha Control Priority!"
Alpha control responds...
"Go a head with priority over"
Are they talking to me I can't hear my call sign...
Pass the message
Alpha control.. Two casualties found approx 20th floor, crew now escorting them down, request another BA team be committed to reach flat on 23rd floor. Further traffic....
5 casualties are reported apparently trying to make their way out on the floor above. Over
Alpha control "Message received"
Were they talking to me it broke up again...
Ok we really need to get out. 
Let's go! 
Grab my arm.
Taking a casualty each we set off. Within two floors both of us had been pushed down one of the flight of the stairs by our casualties. They are screaming at us that they couldn't breath. 
We try to reassure them. 
Stay with me!! 
We are going to get you out!!. 
Please stay with me!
Down and down we go... I hear a shout from behind me from my partner, the female casualty has become unconscious. My partner is now having to drag her down alone. I can't help at this time.
Two floors later we find another crew making their way out. One of them is carrying a little girl. I hand off my casualty to the firefighter who has a free set of hands, please take him out I shout, we'll be right behind you. 
I turn to go but with that he hands me something I'd not seen initially. 
Wait!
What!
Im handed a firefighters helmet! 
This can't be good!! 
Why does he have this?
Where is the firefighter it belongs too!
As I turn round and go back up one turn of the stairs I see him. 
He's missing his helmet but he's with my BA partner.
He's got no helmet and no breathing apparatus. 
Are you ok? Where's your BA set!?
He's given it to a casualty.. he's coughing as he tells us, he's delirious from the heat and smoke.
Still he tries to help carry the casualty! Helping others is still his first thought.
I shout at him.. Get down those stairs, get down to the bridgehead!
I take the casualties arms my BA partner has her legs. 
We start down again.. round and round we go, hear the noise of crews working hard around us. There are still crews going up the stairs past us.
My BA pre alarm starts going this off.... this means one thing.. my air is running low.. similar noises are all around me.
Turning a corner we see a white helmet, it's a watch manager in the stairwell we've reach the bridgehead. 
It's moved again. It's now up on the 5th floor.
My partner takes the firefighter with no BA in to the 5th floor lobby to administer Oxygen. 
The watch manager takes the casualties legs from her. 
Walking backwards down another 5 floors and finally I'm on the ground floor but I can't stop yet. I hand the casualty over. Then I'm off back up those stairs to the 5th floor. 
Reaching entry control, now finally I can shut my set down and I take my mask off. Hoping for a deep breath of clean air... 
ah nope!! 
It's not clean air in here, I suck in lung full of light ish smoke. It makes me cough and retch. 
Still It's clean enough to breath I guess. It's better than the air higher up.
With my tally collected I find my BA partner. She's with the firefighter we found and she's administering him Oxygen. We're off. We take him down and out with us.
As we get outside we are desperate for a drink of water, collapsing on the grass by the leisure centre. Someone see us and throws us some water I drink it straight down, its gone so fast it barely touches the thirst I have.
As I look up colleagues are all around us, tunics off their t-shirts soaked through with sweat, no one really able to talk.
All of us sat there looking at the building we've just come out of. It's worse now! The fire is everywhere and fierce! 
It's hard to comprehend we were just in there.
We see a man in a high window trapped in his flat, we can hear the radio traffic. They know he's there but no one can get to him... but crews are working hard trying to help him. 
He's there for a long time disappearing then coming back.
Slowly we catch our breath, we service our BA sets new oxygen cylinders on them we are ready to go again.
Recovering I go to find more water. At a cordon a woman pleads with me... crying and pushing her phone at me she says she has her friend on line. 
Her and her baby are trapped on the 11th floor. 
It throws me... I struggle to reply.. I look across at a police officer I point at him and tell her he will take her to the people who will take her friends information and pass it on to the crews inside. 
Stay on the phone with her I say! 
Tell her not to give up! 
We are still coming.
We are still getting to people I promise.
No time to stop, don't get distracted. I've got to get a drink and get back to it.
Time passes quickly, some people are given jobs while others have to wait to be tasked with going back inside.
Some time later I couldn't say how long we are all grouped together waiting for news. A senior officer is telling us he knows we've already broken all the policy's we have. He knows the risks we've taken but thats not enough we are going to have to take more! There are still a lot more people who need us. 
He says he's going ask us to do things that would normally be unimaginable. To put our lives at risk even more than we already have. 
Everyone is looking round at each other listening to this officer try to motivate us into action again. He didn't need to though
we are ready for it! This is what we train for. 
Those colleagues who a little while ago were collapsed and broken from on the grass from their first entry are back up, ready, stood in full kit waiting for their orders to go in again.
Now lots of things happened during the time I was outside. Some people were rescued alive, some unfortunately weren't. People jumped, a mother threw a baby from a floor high up, caught by a complete stranger arms just so she could get it away from the fire.
All this time hour after hour my colleagues were pushing themselves above and beyond what you'd think was humanly possible.
As the light broke and time passed we knew it had gone to make pumps 40, and that 20 relief trucks were ordered. So as the trucks with fresh crews arrived those of us that were there early on were starting to be swapped over. We were told to find our crews and go to the debrief but no one was wanting to leave each and every one willing to give more, but eventually we all had to leave the scene.
So 19 hours after starting our night shift the members of Red Watch made it back to the Fire Station.
Time to try and rest.. in 4 hours time we will be on duty again.
We hand over the appliance to the Blue Watch. Tell them what equipment we known to be missing.
I swapped out my dirty fire gear so I'm ready for 8pm, I might as well do it while I'm still covered in sweat and dirt.
I shower, but the smell of smoke won't go away. I wash three times and give up.
I'm beyond tired but I cant sleep.. there's to much going on in my head.
I think I need a drink!
I go out to the local pub with colleagues. I order a shandy, I'm back on duty soon. 
As we sat with our drinks we don't really talk. Sitting in almost complete silence, each lost in thought trying to begin to process everything that's happened. Yet we are aware of the people all around us laughing and joking with friends, enjoying their drinks in the sun. Oblivious to what we've seen, unaware of what we've been doing all night.
I've no appetite but I know I need to eat. We go to and get some food but it's hard to concentrate.
We go back to the fire station, there's no time to get home. I find a bed in the dorm room and eventually manage 45 min sleep before I wake up. Wash my face, get dressed and I'm ready to report for roll call, ready to do it all again.
-----------
Now... this is only a small part of the things we saw and did on that night. Other stories will obviously come out but some won't. Some will be kept by firefighters and the other emergency services hidden away deep down in their thoughts, never to pass in to words, never to be told to a living soul but always there, those emotional scars will forever be there.
-----------
After all that I want to ask you this.
When you see emergency services workers plastered on papers or on the news being slated by the mainstream media, or sometimes missing from a story or a incident you know we would of been at, being called lazy because we are seen trying to eat or have a coffee whilst on duty and your initial thought is any level of outrage 
"what! they can't do that! I'm paying their salary!" 
"They should be doing something else!"
Stop! and Think!
Take a minute to consider what that person might of already seen or done that day or what they might see or do in 5 minutes from now.
When you see big incidents like this on the news, stop... take a moment think about the thousands of incidents that are attended every year by blue light services that don't make the mainstream media either because they don't sell papers or give the right message for the current political agenda of a particular party. 
Maybe it is because they are only small or maybe because they are not considered news worthy enough. 
Maybe they do make the news its because something went wrong and then it is reported so someone can be blamed. Reported on so some MP can say pubic services are in meltdown so they can sell off part or all of that public service to one of their multimillionaire friends or a private company they are on the board of, all so they can introduce privatisation and make cuts to try and make a profit out of saving lives.
Regardless of what they do, regardless of what the job is, regardless how big or small it is. We as first responders are still going to be there, we are sill going to go out day after day helping the people who's lives are at the lowest point imaginable. We are going to be there for you!
So If you see us out and about please show us you're support, show us you're thinking of us and appreciate us by giving us a smile or a wave and if at some point we ask for your support or go out on strike know it's not because want to it's because when we say things like cuts are dangerous we are doing it for the right reasons, because ultimately it's you we are looking out for, it's the people we serve that unfortunately suffer from government cuts.
Finally if you can take a few moments out of your day to really consider the sacrifices the men and women of the emergency services are willing to make to protect you, your loved ones and the local communities we serve you will see that it's not about money or fame we do it because we genuinely care about serving you.
I'm off to see my family and friends now. I might talk to them about it if I can, but then again I might not. I'm not sure they need to know what's in my head just yet. 
Maybe once I've made sense of it i will.
Please take care out there people, but if you can't don't worry to much.. 
We will be there looking out for you, all day everyday!Grenfell tower ..a firefighter's account. Huge respect to these men and women, so Brave.ve.

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3 hours ago, Admin. said:

This is not the same thing.. "cause of death" no one is talking about this, we know the cause of death. There is no need to talk about it.

Gas pipes, illegal cladding, lack of fire exits, lack of sprinkler systems etc.. Do you think the housing authority would have been able to get away with such things if the residents wernt poor... The outrage towards the rich neighbours  is because they thought the building was an eye sore and it effected there property values, they petitioned for something to be done and Grenfell put up the cladding saving as much cost as possible the renovations wernt for the people that lived there but for those who had to look at the building.

If these people wernt poor would they have been hit with legal action for trying to do something about the causes of the fire in which you listed to...

Z

 

They were taken advantage of becuase they were poor, there were a lot of short cuts taken and residents safety was not a priority once. I am sure the accounting firm you work for has spent money to ensure yours and your fellow employees safety in case of any fire or other accidents because they know if something did break out they would be sued into 6/7 figures at the very least.

Your last point is almost disgusting at the contempt you have for poor people, many of these people are first generation immigrants and this isnt 80s/90s uk in which you can easily come here from nothing with limited skills work your ass off and have enough money to buy a house and set your family up like your parents generation... but with that very last line Yes the state failed and why did the state fail because the state does not give a shit about the poor and makes no attempt to help the poor out of poverty.

this fire would have been prevented if the occupants were not poor and that is why i am saying they died because they were poor.... we are not talking about cause of death literally

 

Had to quote this for anyone who hasn't read the last few pages and wants to jump on the it isn't political nonsense

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Brems is nuts! Fully thinks that people will get the exact same opportunities as he has had and that things will not be in their way..... despicable!

 

A law should be in place for people with multiple homes within London, especially those who do not let their properties out, have a massive tax rise for them on their properties.

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26 minutes ago, Incumbent said:

brem 

are you saying coz you "made it", it means so should those who lived in grenfell blocks (or anyone in similar status)? and what happened to them is their fault coz they were poor?

 

Not what I am saying at all. I was saying that that rich poor divide was not to blame. I'm big enough to say I am wrong, it's clear that if rich white folks lived there the building would have been better maintained. 

What I was saying is that there are 100 different social agendas being pushed as a result of this and that the true lessons to be learned are being drowned out by the fraff. I'm saying that trying to draw attention to every single inequality that exists between then grenfell residents and the made in Chelsea lads is pointless. People are always going to have more than you. Even rich people are envious of those richer. This is frivolous conversation. The real issue is fire safety and the role of the state in ensuring this. 

So many interviews have been held with people and their complaints range from "they died because they're black", "they died because they're poor" and "living here is like living in pigeon holes". Many persons are using this as collateral against the government to gain, many persons are using this to push some shitty agenda which justifies their own personal failings. What I was saying was this is all fraff and bollocks and for tragedy to be avoided again and lessons to be learned we need to focus on the key things that resulted in a tragedy of this scale.

The talk of me "making it" was some side discussion and I don't know how we got on to that it. But yes I think anyone in this country can make it. No I don't think any one should die for not making it. But any one jumping on some soap box justifying their failures as being due to poverty either lacks motivation, skill or endeavour to make shit happen.

 

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29 minutes ago, Kuffir said:

they should pull themselves up by the bootstraps like he did 8-)

Read above you degenerate. I'm saying if you blame poverty for everything that happens in your life. Every failing, every missed opportunity you lack the guts to make shit happen for yourself. THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO GRENFELL, THIS WAS A SIDE DISCUSSION. NO AMOUNT OF GUMPTION IS GOING TO STOP FIRE FROM BURNING YOU AND I AM NOT SO STUPID AND INSENSITIVE TO MAKE SUCH A COMMENT. 

 

Are we clear you degenerate failure? You probably don't even earn that living wage and don't presume to put words in my worth. You are too fucking stupid to understand. As for being 'washed' that hate only comes from some d*ckhead failed Asian. 

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3 minutes ago, Brem said:

THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO GRENFELL

if this doesnt apply to grenfel tower

WHY ARE YOU IN THE FUCKING GRENFELL TOWER THREAD SAYING IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN

using the incident to push your own agenda alie, isn't this the exact thing you're accusing other people of doing!?

chief *spits*

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Just now, Kuffir said:

if this doesnt apply to grenfel tower

WHY ARE YOU IN THE FUCKING GRENFELL TOWER THREAD SAYING IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN

using the incident to push your own agenda alie, isn't this the exact thing you're accusing other people of doing!?

chief *spits*

Because a side discussion occurred and people engaged in the conversation and so it continued. Debate some times takes these tangents although I agree it is my fault for instigating it. But you carried it on. 

Did I strike a cord with you or something? Did you look at your own utter failure and feel to need to jump in an defend against my words? You call me some confused Washed Asian? Why? Because I don't conform to some stereotype of a failed Asian who speaks broken English living in their marges yard and utterly reliant on hand outs and min wage salary.

i know you are a loser from the way you speak and I pity you. Your greatest accomplishment is reaching 9000 posts on this site where you can play the big man. In the outside world you are annonymous and irrelevant and effect no positivity on this world. 

Get the convo on topic now. Feel free to respond but I am done with you.

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Just now, Brem said:

Because a side discussion occurred and people engaged in the conversation and so it continued. Debate some times takes these tangents although I agree it is my fault for instigating it. But you carried it on. 

this was not a side discussion, u started it.

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2 minutes ago, Mr. Martinez said:

Blem you're a numpty mate 

You are washed. 

Them ones where an older brother or someone needs to sit you down and show you what's what 

proper numpty. 

 

Bruv do you think I take you seriously. Your greatest achievement are your FIFA achievement points.

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Just now, Brem said:

Bruv do you think I take you seriously. Your greatest achievement are your FIFA achievement points.

:rofl:

You are wasting your time with these lot. They don't deal in realities or other peoples opinions. Classic ANTIFA types, you don't agree with them you're wrong and the enemy.

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Just now, Brem said:

I already said this. I instigated it. My bad. 

nah what u said was people were already discussing. then u said u instigated it. now ur trying to correct me for addressing your contradiction lmao

them guys there sn i like how ur bank balance has convinced u ur not a prick

 

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9 minutes ago, Gambino said:

:rofl:

You are wasting your time with these lot. They don't deal in realities or other peoples opinions. Classic ANTIFA types, you don't agree with them you're wrong and the enemy.

Bro fuck out this thread, your dumb arse hasn't said anything of note at all now you can't get your tounge out of brems arse

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1 minute ago, FA23 said:

Bro fuck out this thread, your dumb arse hasn't said anything of note at all now you can't get your tounge out of brems arse

Triggereddddd LMFAO. When I say jump you fucking jump right.

Funny you screaming I've said nothing of note whilst your sidekicks are screaming Brems basically saying the same thing I did LMFAO.

CONSISTENCY!! It's my favourite word on this forum, you muppets always lack it.

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