Less than a month after the terrorist bombing that rocked Manchester and just 11 days since the terrorist attack on London Bridge and Borough Market, Britons were faced with yet another tragedy Wednesday morning.
Grenfell Tower, a 24-story residential building in West London, caught fire early Wednesday morning, claiming the lives of several residents and raising questions about appropriate fire safety prevention measures. Eyewitnesses described hearing the desperate screams of those trapped inside. A mother was forced to throw her baby from the burning building in hope that it would be caught by someone on the ground below — before her infant hit the ground.
As the fire blazed through the night, claiming lives and engulfing the surrounding streets in smoke, Londoners rallied together to assist those in need. A local church opened its doors, quickly becoming the go-to destination for donations and prayers. Local mosques began fundraising, offering shelter and supplies.
People only have their pyjamas Need spare clothes, toys, toiletries - all ages:
— Sophia Cannon (@SophiaCannon) June 14, 2017
When morning came and the high-rise building continued to burn, Londoners took to Twitter and the streets of Kensington to offer their support. Arriving at a local church, some brought with them water and clothes, others came clutching fresh fruit and clean towels. They booked hotels for the newly homeless residents of Grenfell and used social media sites to offer car rides and cups of tea. They came of all ages, races and religions with one goal: to help.
— Fiona Rutherford (@Fi_Rutherford) June 14, 2017
— Jenny Hewson (@JennyHewson) June 14, 2017
If anyone needs somewhere to stay and blankets/food/a cup of tea, my house is open and just down the road #GrenfellTower
— Martha Bennett (@MarthaMBennett) June 14, 2017
In a video, one woman was seen praising the young Muslim boys who woke up residents and sought help as they returned from Ramadan prayers at their local mosque. “They were the first people with bags of water, running and telling people.” She said.
— JammyDodger (@mrjammyjamjar3) June 14, 2017
— Alice Young (@manc_alice) June 14, 2017
A donation page seeking to raise money for the families of Grenfell Tower was created and shared on social networking sites.
“In this tight-night [sic] community, many families have lost everything they own, whilst others have lost their lives” the page read. “The money raised will be for those residents of Grenfell Tower affected and will hopefully, even in some small way, help them with whatever they may need in the aftermath.”
Less than 12 hours later, more than 100,000 British pounds ($128,000) had already been raised.
“Love love love London people from all walks donating and helping. … I'm proud as hell to be a Londoner
#londonfire,” tweeted one user
“So proud to be from West London! The whole community have pulled together. Seen so many people I know donating food water & clothes” tweeted another.