Grenfell Tower search continues as community support swells

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Two days after Grenfell Tower was consumed by flames, the suspected number of causalities is predicted to more than double. The death toll has risen to 30, but over 70 people are still missing.

Grenfell Tower, which is located in North Kensington, London, hosted over 120 flats in 24 stories, and could house as many as 600 people.

The blaze is believed to have started on the fourth story by a faulty fridge and to have spread quickly due to flammable cladding on the building.

According to reports by neighbours, the owner of the fridge, Behailu Kebede, woke them to warn them about the fire.

One such neighbour, Maryann Adam, reported that Kebede had woken neighbours to warn them.

“He knocked on the door, and he said there was a fire in his flat,” she reported to MailOnline. “There was no alarm.”

London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton released a statement to media in front of the smouldering building later in the day of the fire.

“We have been working closely with all of our partners to establish what is going on here. We will continue to work closely in the coming hours and days to look at the cause of this fire and to investigate what has happened.”

Fire fighters have recently begun a thorough search of the building, using trained dogs to find remains.

“We have got a structural engineer, who in conjunction with my urban search and rescue advisor, is monitoring the stability of the building. At the moment the building continues to be safe for our crews to go and work in,” Cotton reported.

“The fire commissioner has confirmed it will take a number of days, if not weeks, to go through the entire block,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan added, addressing citizens and media in a public statement.

Prime Minister Theresa May promised a “proper investigation” into the cause of the fire and stated her condolences and support for the emergency services and victims involved.

“Our focus must be on ensuring that emergency services have what they need to continue with their harrowing work,” the Prime Minister stated, “and that help and support is being provided to all those who have suffered as a result of this tragedy.”

“The response from the local community has been amazing,” Khan agreed in his statement. “They have come together and they have shown their support for the victims and the families and the friends of all those affected by this horrific, tragic fire.”

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy asked the community for help regarding people reported missing in the fire.

“This is going to be a long and complex recovery operation,” Cundy reported after informing the public how to report missing or found persons.

The Queen and the Duke of Cambridge have also shown their support for the affected community, visiting some of the volunteers and residents at a local community centre. This is the second case in a month of the Queen visiting victims of tragedy after the Manchester bombing in May.

The community continues to show their support, with six donation pages have been set up on GoFundMe alone for those impacted by the fire. The pages have currently raised over £300,000 (over $50o,000 AUD) in total, with four of the six surpassing their goals.

Cundy reinstated what both Khan and Cotton had previously stated about the “amazing response” by the community, and has asked for their support to continue in the days to come as the Grenfell Tower is searched.

 

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