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Grenfell Tower Survivors Tell How They Escaped The Horrific Fire

"As we’re going down the stairs it’s getting darker and darker and hotter and hotter"
Emergency services battle the blaze. Getty

Survivors of London burning building, Grenfell Tower, are telling their heroic stories of escape in the aftermath of the disaster. 

On Wednesday June 14th, the 24-storey apartment block went up in flames after a fridge reportedly blew up on the 4th floor. The death toll is currently sitting at 58, with fears it could rise upwards of 100. 

Five-year-old Thea West and her family were lucky to escape, due to her dad still being awake when the fire started.

“I was dozing in and out of sleeping, watching a film, when I could smell something plasticky,” Micky Paramasivan told This Morning.

“I couldn’t find where it was coming from but as I leaned out the window to have a cigarette I could hear someone shouting, ‘it’s getting bigger, it’s getting bigger!’

“The panic set in so I peeped through the spy hole of the front door and there was smoke everywhere, there were a couple of neighbours in the corridor going, ‘get out [of] the flat’,” he continued.

Paramasivan then quickly woke up his partner Hannah, 23, and then went into Thea’s bedroom, putting her under his dressing gown to protect her from the smoke and flames.

The five-year-old said there was “smoke everywhere” and she “could not breathe” as the made their way out of the building.

“When we got outside, there was plastic falling on the grass and people were crying and coughing. It was very scary,” she said.

“We were on the 7th floor and the fire started on the 4th floor, so as we’re going down the stairs it’s getting darker and darker and hotter and hotter. It was intense,” Paramasivan recalls. Within 15 minutes the whole tower was ablaze and there was no fire alarm, the fire alarm didn’t start going off until 4am and you could hear it loudly outside, but inside it was very quiet.”

Another survivor Christos Fairbairn, who lived on the 15th floor, says he heard noises outside and loud knocking on his door before smoke started to pour in.

He says he wrapped a wet jumper around himself and ran down the stairwell.

“I could feel myself tripping over in the dark. I was tripping over bodies,” He told BBC Newsbeat.

“On one of the floors I tripped badly and fell, as I looked up I saw the face of a dead man. I can still picture him now,” he continued. 

“I can’t believe I am alive. I will never forget what happened and how traumatising it was.”

Edward Daffarn says he almost died trying to escape. “I opened my front door and a huge lot of smoke came in, and I realised what was happening.”

“We’d been advised that I need to stay in my flat so I shut the door and went back in,” he told Buzzfeed News.

“About 10 seconds later my friend rang me and said: ‘You need to get out of the flat.’ He was so urgent I decided I had to leave.

“I tied a damp towel around my face, I wetted it in the bathroom. I went across the landing to the fire exit but the smoke was so, so strong that I couldn’t see anything. Where I thought the door was it wasn’t.

“I had a matter of seconds or I was going to die. This fireman came, he was lying on the ground and opened the fire exit. He touched my leg and that was enough. That enabled me to get out.”

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