Survivors and families of the Grenfell fire victims today urged the country “not to forget” the tragedy as they prepared to mark the third anniversary of the blaze that left 72 dead.
An inquiry into the fire, on June 14 2017, is due to resume next month after being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic in March.
Nicholas Burton, 52, was rescued from this 19th-floor flat on the night of the inferno, along with his wife, Pily.
However, she never properly recovered and died following a stroke seven months after the fire.
He said: “It is important the fire and those who lost their lives are never forgotten. Every day is a Grenfell day to me. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t think about that night. There are a lot of things going on in the world at the moment but our fight for justice, for changes to building regulations and to ensure that something like this does not happen again is still going on.”
Last year, Mr Burton travelled to 23 countries, visiting fire stations to talk about the disaster.
He added: “Grenfell was reported around the world. We have had to fight every step of the way. I hope results of our campaigning and the inquiry will have an effect on so many communities around the world.”
The inferno started when flames from a fourth-floor flat spread to the outside of the tower and quickly engulfed it because the building was covered in combustible cladding.
The disaster is the subject of a criminal investigation and ongoing public inquiry, which has been beset by delays. Thousands of people with connections to Grenfell have been interviewed or given statements, including survivors, emergency workers, developers and council chiefs.
Andrzej Kuszell, director of Studio E, the architecture firm involved in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, apologised at one of the last inquiry hearings before it was delayed telling survivors: “It really shouldn’t have happened.”
London’s fire brigade commissioner Andy Roe said this week that 30 lives had already been saved as a result of changes to firefighting triggered by the Grenfell disaster, including development in tactics and equipment.
Mr Burton said the community had also “come a long way with its campaign to remove dangerous cladding”.
Karim Mussilhy, 34, the nephew of victim Hesham Rahman and vice chairman of survivors and bereaved families group Grenfell United, said the country is “living through another tragedy during the pandemic.”
“Even apart, we remain together until we get justice for all the bereaved, those we have lost and those still living in unsafe homes,” he said.
“We have been angry and frustrated by the delays in to the inquiry. We don’t want people to forget about Grenfell because we don’t want something like this to ever happen again.”
MPs have urged the Government to take over residential tower blocks if owners fail to remove cladding. The housing committee says it was “deeply shocking” that about 2,000 buildings in England are still potentially at risk.