Grenfell Tower fire: Minute’s silence to mark one-year anniversary

Grenfell memorial service

A year after the Grenfell Tower fire, the names of the 72 people who died as a result have been read out at a memorial service in west London.

A minute’s silence will be held at midday, while the England football team has already held its own in Russia.

The tower and other London buildings were lit green at 00:54 BST, the time a fire was reported in a flat last June.

A vigil took place at a church near the block, where the victims’ names were read out at 01:30.

Prime Minister Theresa May wrote on Twitter that she wanted to “pay tribute” to the victims’ “family, friends and loved ones for the strength and dignity they have shown”.

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PA

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The England football team held a minute’s silence in Russia

Natasha Elcock, who was one of the last residents to be rescued from the tower and is now a member of the survivor group Grenfell United, has praised the community’s response to the fire.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she said: “We could have been the most angry community out there because of what happened, but we’ve chosen to be dignified, be calm.

“Ultimately, that’s earned us respect.”

She added: “We really want to ensure that we change so much that Grenfell is not remembered because it killed 72 people but because it has a legacy of change – that behaviours change within social housing, the way people are treated, how they are listened to.”

Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, said that despite a year having passed, the tragedy “remains very real, raw and painful for many people, every day”.

Media captionMohammed and Zahra used to live in Grenfell Tower, but home has been a hotel room for the past year

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PA

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Grenfell’s surrounding tower blocks were also illuminated in the early hours of Thursday

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Reuters

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Relatives, survivors and friends of victims met to walk to the tower to hold a vigil overnight

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PA

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Downing Street was among the buildings lit green on 14 June

The tower has recently been covered in white sheeting with a heart featured on all four sides at the top of the block.

The anniversary comes as an inquiry into the fire continues its fact-finding stage.

During the inquiry, the 999 call made by Behailu Kebede, in whose kitchen the fire started, was released.

The inquiry heard that Mr Kebede, who also alerted his flatmates and fourth-floor neighbours as soon as he saw smoke, did “the right thing from start to finish”.

Media captionGrenfell Tower: Audio of first 999 call

Kensington and Chelsea Council said 52 households remained in temporary accommodation and 83 are in permanent homes.

Another 68 are in “emergency” accommodation – 42 in hotels, 22 in serviced apartments, and four staying with family or friends.

Member of the Justice 4 Grenfell campaign group Yvette Williams said: “We want the nation to keep Grenfell in their consciousness.

“The anniversary is about love and support – the fight can start again on Friday and Saturday – and keeping that humanity going on that day.”

Untold stories from the Grenfell Wall

By Sue Mitchell

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AFP

The Grenfell Wall sprang up overnight.

Within hours, hundreds of people had left messages of sympathy and support. Relatives of those missing brought favourite items, teddies and photos.

Missing posters were plastered everywhere, bearing the faces of those still unaccounted for and telephone numbers for anyone who might have information.

The wall is still there today in the shadow of the tower.

It provides a glimpse into the terrors that unfolded on 14 June 2017.

Read the full article here

Clarrie Mendy, who lost two members of her family to the fire, organised a service at St Helen’s church in north Kensington which began at 11:00.

She said: “It’s a service of healing, community, inclusivity and solidarity, to know we are not alone.

“We’ll be releasing 73 white doves. Why 73 instead of 72? One for the unknown.

“If there were more than 72, we will put one for the unknown.”

At the service, 400 white roses will be given for people to carry from the church to the tower.

The community will also congregate at the Grenfell wall at 19:00, before walking to the tower in silence.

Grenfell Tower fire: Minute’s silence to mark one-year anniversary

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