I wrote this from the top of the church I volunteered in, inside the Police cordon at Grenfell, yesterday afternoon. I served as a Fire Control Operator for Essex Fire and Rescue Service from 2007 to 2011.
Everything about Grenfell looms, large and domineering. The spectre of what was once 600 peoples homes, shudders with ghouls and ashes, embers still burning on the top floors. Fire investigators hang out of windows, their hi-vis jackets indistinguishable from the deep burning red at the heart of the structure. Police cordons stand shoulder to shoulder, three deep. Hundreds of residents and protestors crush the Mayor into a corner as he tries to answer furious questions. Three stories of a local methodist church, basement to tower, packed floor to ceiling with donated shoes, clothes, toiletries, food, water. Six hundred stories, that will largely go untold.
I’ve seen a lot of fucking fires, I remarked…
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