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Grenfell tower

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Across London and around the world, the 72 people who lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire are being honoured.

The fire began in the wee hours of the morning on June 14, 2017. The tower, currently covered in white sheeting with a heart at the top of each side, was lit up in green at 12:54am this morning, marking the time that the blaze was reported last year.

The victims' names were read aloud at 1:30am at a vigil at a nearby church, the BBC reports.

According to Kensington and Chelsea Council, a number of the households who survived are still displaced.

68 households are in emergency accommodation, with 42 staying in hotels, 22 in serviced apartments, and the remaining four with family or friends.

Another 52 households are situated in temporary accommodation and 83 are in permanent homes.

One of the survivors, Natasha Elcock, appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today programme and commended her community for their response to the tragedy:

"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."

Natasha, who is a member of survivor group Grenfell United, continued:

"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."

A minute of silence will be observed at midday in the UK to pay tribute to the victims of the fire.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton noted, "One year ago today London changed forever. The tragic and unprecedented fire at Grenfell Tower will never be forgotten.

“At midday today, London Fire Brigade will fall silent in memory of all those who died or lost loved ones, their homes and possessions.

“As well as honouring the memory of the lives lost, we pay tribute to the resilience and spirit of the local community."

She added, "I know I speak on behalf of everyone at London Fire Brigade when I say that you are never far from our minds."

"We want the nation to keep Grenfell in their consciousness," Justice 4 Grenfell campaign group member Yvette Williams told the BBC.

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

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As many of us were basking in the glory of Coldplay last night, U2 were putting on a pretty sweet performance, too.

The band invited 50 London firefighters who fought in the Grenfell Tower blaze to watch them perform live in a private concert, which doubled as a rehearsal.

In a near-empty stadium, the firefighters watched U2 get ready for their Twickenham gig, and some took to Twitter to share their admiration for the band:

Bono and the lads played seven songs in total for the firefighters and their families.

Fair play, lads.

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According to emerging reports, it has been discovered that the 17-storey headquarters of Cork County Council uses similar cladding to the one which had been installed in Grenfell Towers in London.

The cladding, known as Reynobond Aluminium Composite Material, was installed in Carrigrohane Road's County Hall during a refurbishment project in 2006 – an endeavour which ultimately cost €62 million.

According to the council, the aluminium composite material is present on the exterior of the main council chamber within the foyer of an extension.

However, both the chief fire officer and the building’s facility manager are of the opinion that due to its limited use, coupled with installed fire safety measures which include sprinkler protection, automatic smoke ventilation system, automatic smoke detection, alarm systems and good escape routes, the material doesn't pose any increased risk to the individual.

Despite this, it has been established that an investigation into the proper installation of the material has been commissioned, and the council have confirmed that they will act on any recommendations put forward by experts.

The Grenfell Towers tragedy has claimed the lives of 79 people with the death toll expected to rise.

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Over the six days that have followed the Grenfell Tower tragedy, politicians, press, high-profile personalities and members of the public have flocked to the scene of a fire which has thus far claimed the lives of 79 people.

And while the vast majority sought to provide support, assistance and reassurance in the aftermath of the blaze, it appears a small number are under the impression the scene of the tragedy is some sort of macabre tourist attraction.

As emergency services continue to sift through debris and families are informed of their loved one's passing, members of the public are using the opportunity to take selfies in the midst of the tragedy.

With a worrying number of people choosing to photograph themselves in front of the building's remains, residents have felt compelled to hang posters which urge the public to consider their actions in the wake of such a tragedy.

"Grenfell a tragedy not a tourist attractions. #selfies," read one poster.

Speaking to CNN, a resident of the area revealed the extent of the issue, saying: "It was such a disgrace to see people taking selfies with the tower behind them, thinking it was OK to do that in front of residents and people who lost their loved ones in the fire."

"It broke my heart to see people all dressed up like it was (the Notting Hill) Carnival and guys trying to get girls' phone numbers," he added.

Weighing in on the current discussion, Twitter users have wasted no time berating people who choose to take photographs at the scene of utter devastation, with one writing: "In the 15, or 16 years after 9/11, people just want to have their "Proof that I was there." self taken photos. What a souvenir."

The death toll currently stands at 79.

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World No. 1 tennis champ, Andy Murray has vowed to donate his prize money from this week's Aegon Championships to victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Should he successfully defend the title he has already won five times, he would earn £347,000 for the survivors of last weeks tragedy, which is now thought to have claimed at least 79 lives.

According to The Independent, his plans were confirmed by a tournament source, however his own management declined to comment.

Reports also suggest that the tournament itself will make a significant donation following last week's tragic events.

Andy has always been a generous supporter of charities. Throughout his career he has helped a number of causes, though he has never sought any publicity for his donations.

Four years ago, the tennis star gave his £73,000 winner’s cheque to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity after his close friend, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, has been treated at the hospital.

He also lent his pro skills to a fund-raising match at the end of that tournament.

In 2009 Andy Murray and David Beckham joined forces to launch an anti-malaria campaign and in 2014 he became the global ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund.

Many have praised Andy for his huge generosity following the news of his latest donation. 

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As a community attempts to come to terms with a tragedy which claimed the lives of dozens of people in a London tower block last week, media outlets, high-profile personalities and members of the public are asking questions of authorities in recent days.

Using her Sunday World column to express her disbelief over the tragedy, 31-year-old Vogue Williams offered her own insights into the matter.

The radio and TV presenter, who has a degree in  Construction Design And Management as well as Quantitative Surveying, used her knowledge of the subject to question the scale of the tragedy.

"As someone who did two building-related degrees, I can't quite understand how a fire from a fridge in a flat on the fourth floor spread all over the building within 15 minutes," she wrote.

Acknowledging one particular constructional factor, she continued: "The external cladding used on the building was highly flammable and is a material banned in America – for reasons that seem very obvious now."

Like many people over the last week, Vogue was keen to point out the apparent inadequacies displayed by those in authority, writing: "There seems to have been failings on so many levels from the people who were in charge of this building."

"Families have been torn apart by this and it's incredibly upsetting to watch this unfold on the news," added Vogue who recently faced backlash over her stance on terrorists.

The latest reports out of London put the number of fatalities of the blaze at 79.

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According to emerging reports, Simon Cowell is in the process of organising a charity record to pay tribute to those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy this week.

The music mogul took to Twitter in the aftermath of Wednesday's blaze and expressed his sympathies over the incident which has, thus far, claimed the lives of 17 people.

"I am watching the footage of the Grenfell Tower fire in London. Heartbreaking," he wrote in a tweet last night.

In a move which has garnered considerable support, Simon went on to write: "We hope to confirm a record tomorrow which will raise some money for the many people affected by this tragedy. Making calls tonight."

While it is not yet clear which artists will feature on the charity record, Simon is adamant that anyone in a position to help should do so.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain hosts, Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, he said; "For all of us living in the vicinity, we have the ability to do something. I just thought what do you do? First of all you can raise some money and that’s important."

“Secondly, what I hope will happen is that it will send a message to those involved that there’s an awful lot of people who care very much about what you’re going through.”

Acknowledging his global status, he added: “For me in my position not to do something would be appalling. It sent chills through me. I do genuinely believe this will make a difference.”

Stars including Adele, Rita Ora and Lily Allen have made trips to the scene of Wednesday's blaze in an effort to comfort members of the community.

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A criminal investigation has been launched into the Grenfell Tower blaze, which has so far claimed the lives of 17 residents, with many more still missing. 

The probe will seek out the cause of the fire, though a police spokesperson said that there is so far no evidence that a crime has been committed. 

The investigation could lead to criminal charges for anyone responsible for building code violations in the structure of the tower. 

'We as the police have started an investigation, I mentioned when I was down at the scene this morning that one of our very senior investigating officers is leading that for us,' Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Cundy told The Independant. 

'I am not sitting here and saying there are criminal offences that have been committed, that's why you do an investigation, to establish it,' he continued.

'This will need to be a lot of work between us and other investigating agencies to establish what has happened and why and that is going to take a considerable period of time.'

There are reports that fears are growing that the death toll may reach 100 people, as emergency workers search tirelessly through the building. 

'We have to get to the bottom of this,' said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

'The truth has got to come out and it will.'

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Rita Ora has taken to social media to share her despair at the tragic Grenfell Tower fire, which has claimed the lives of 12 residents so far. 

The singer showed up at one of the help points for the tragedy yesterday evening, to assist the residents and volunteers.

The star took to Instagram stories to share her efforts with her fans.

The singer can be seen among the local community helping them sift through bags of what appear to be donations.

Rita had previously taken to Instagram to say that she had played in the tower block as a child while growing up in the area. 

'Shocked and devastated to hear this terrible news,' Rita said in a tweet.

'My heart goes out to everyone affected by this horrific tragedy in west London.'

 

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Adele made it her mission last night to help the residents of the horrific Grenfell Tower fire, which has so far claimed the lives of 12 people, with many more still missing.

The Grammy Award winning star made an appearance at the 27-storey tower block last night.

The star was there with her husband Simon Konecki, comforting and hugging those who needed help.

'Adele was going around and hugging everyone she could to comfort them,' an Adele fan account wrote on Twitter.

Her appearance came less than 24 hours after a blaze destroyed the building.

 

A post shared by Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) on

Other celebrities such as Jamie Oliver and Jeremy Clarkson have paid online tributes to victims of the tragic fire.

Jamie Oliver invited the now-homeless residents to come to his restaurant for a comforting meal on the house.

'You are all welcome to come hang out in my restaurant and be fed and watered by my Jamies Italian team,' reads his Instagram post.

'We are in the Westfield just around the corner. Food and drink free of charge so just go and speak to my manager Juan and we will sort you out and give you some love.'

 

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Update: London Fire commissioner reports "a number of fatalities" but can't say how many.

Earlier: 30 people have been admitted to five hospitals around London following a huge blaze which engulfed a block of flats in the west of the city last night.

Many eye-witnesses told how people residing on the upper floors of Grenfell Tower had been trapped in their homes.

The first call to London Fire Brigade came at 12:45am on Wednesday morning.

Around 200 firefighters and 40 engines were deployed to the scene as rescue workers tried to evacuate the 24-story building in North Kensington.

The fire burned from the second to the top floor, and the cause of the blaze is not yet known.

In the early hours of this morning, London Fire Brigade said around 30 flats near the scene had been evacuated and a cordon was in place.

London mayor Sadiq Khan has said the fire has been declared a "major incident".

According to The Guardian, a resident group had repeatedly warned of a fire risk at the building and claimed that a major fire was narrowly averted after a power fault in 2013.

The Metropolitan Police have set up an emergency number for anyone who is concerned about a friend or family member who might have been affected by the incident.

Feature Image: Twitter 

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