There are some tragedies in this world that impress me more than others. With so rapidly news spreading today, we are informed about them almost while still happening. London Grenfell Tower fire was one of these very sad tragedies. It happened on Wednesday morning, last week, apparently starting with a faulty fridge of an Ethiopian taxi driver who lived on the fourth floor.
The fire was small at first, as a neighbor who was announced about the fire confessed to a reporter, but it quickly spread over the higher floors because of the cladding used to refurbished the building. Having them used the proper materials resistant to fire, things would have been much different now.
At this hour there over 70 victims dead or presumed dead but the number is expected to rise as the firemen will manage to enter the higher floors and check the victims there.
Troubling stories of those who managed to escape the inferno on that fatal Wednesday may be found on the internet. I have read many of them in an attempt to extract some useful lessons about what to do in case of fire.
What can we learn from this tragedy
Initially, people were told “to stay put” into their apartments, but this piece of advice has proven to be fatal. Those who did listen to it perished consumed by the fire. Many of the missing residents now have spoked by the phone with their relatives and said they were told to stay put. I have read a disturbing story about a fireman who told a resident to stay still that they can come and rescue her and her two years old boy only minutes before the fire engulfed her apartment. The fireman apparently knew he couldn’t do that and tell her relatives on the ground to assure her about his love. She and the boy are on missing list, although is very clear they didn’t make it. This leads me to conclude that one should not completely trust authorities figures in case a tragedy occurs but must use his/her own mind to evaluate the situation.
People who managed to go down through the thick smoke were using wet towels or shirts to cover their respiratory tract and filth the smoked air. Those who left without them had fainted on the stairs and died there. So, lesson number two: use wet towels to breathe in case of fire.
A young boy named Shekeb, 24, managed to carry down his disabled mother, 55, on his back through smoke down the staircase from the very top floor down the stairs and both of them are alive now. The father who remained in the apartment to wait for help from the firemen is reported missing, presumed dead. The Telegraph wrote about a statement of the boy’s cousin: “Shekeb is the most loving and caring man — a strong young boy who loves his family more than anything.”
On the other hand, a 5 years old boy is missing presumed dead because the neighbor who was holding his hand got lost of it while getting down. Why the neighbor or the boy’s parents didn’t carry him on their arms I have no idea in the world. The boy could have been easily carried and saved as it was the disabled mother carried by her son. Also, a husband let go his wife’s hand and made alone his own way to escape the fire, while pushing other people “like animals”, as he declared. His wife was found dead.
What can we learn from this: love and altruism make a difference, one must deeply care about another human being in order who put his/her life above his own.