Harrowing stories continue to make headlines in the aftermath of the disastrous fire in London’s Grenfell Tower.
The blaze reportedly killed at least 30 people and left dozens injured. More than 100 people are still missing, while the survivors are homeless, being shifted from one place to another after the deadly ordeal.
Among the people who lost their loved ones and all their belonging in the fire is a woman named Genet Shawo, who reportedly lost her five-year-old son, Isaac, in the Grenfell blaze. Shawo remembers her neighbors holding her little boy’s hand as she, along with her husband Paulos Petakle and her other three-year-old son Lucas, fled the fire.
But the neighbors couldn’t save Isaac.
Shawo explained how the corridor outside their flat at the 18th floor was filled with smoke when they opened the door to escape.
“I was helping my neighbor to put towels on his children, and started helping them down. I had put a wet towel already on Isaac,” she lamented. “My neighbor said he would hold him and bring him down. But when I got outside I realized Isaac wasn’t there. My neighbor said he had lost hold of him inside and couldn’t find him. It was so dark, you couldn’t see anything in the smoke.”
She claimed the firefighters told them to stay inside the building instead of evacuating right then.
“Lots of people escaped, but the firefighters said: ‘stay inside’,” the grieving mother told The Independent. “I don’t know the firefighters’ rules, I thought they might know how the building is built. Do they want people to burn alive?”
The distressed family, which reportedly stayed in the apartment for over an hour before finally deciding to escape, is also concerned about a suitable accommodation in north Kensington, where Lucas’ school is situated. They were first moved to a hotel in the Ladbroke Grove station, the next day they were moved to another hotel in High Street Kensington.
Hopeless, Shawo vented out all her anger towards the government, claiming it hasn’t taken enough measures to solve the ordeal of these homeless victims.
“I need to be in one place, I can’t move every day. I don’t know how long I’ll be in the place I’m in tonight,” she questioned. "Where is the Government? We can't see them, where are they in this very bad time?"
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May was criticized for meeting firefighters instead of the victims. To ease the criticism, May announced a $6 million support package for the victims, inside the St. Clemet’s church where she arrived with loads of security.
The church has already been supporting the victims with a handsome amount of donations since the fire.
During her visit, May was met with protests and public outrage. Angry crowds shouted, “coward” and “murderer” as she left the location without facing the public once again.
Since the blaze, Larry Castro, 60, who has lived in Grenfell Tower for 26 years, has also been staying in a hotel in Earl’s Court.
“I’m angry,” he said. “The fire spread so quickly, like they’d put gasoline on it. The Government, until now they have offered no support. They’ve given us £500. But that’s nothing. We can buy trousers. We said we’ll wait, but when will we know? When? They won’t give us an exact date.”
“[Theresa May’s visit] is not enough.”
Meanwhile, London Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote an open letter to the prime minister demanding her to confirm “as a matter of urgency” that everyone from Grenfell Tower and other evacuated properties “will be rehoused locally immediately".
The mayor also said the public could not "afford to wait years for the outcome" of the full public inquiry announced earlier in the week by the prime minister. He demanded a timeline on how long it would take to check existing buildings that are at risk of similar fires.