Grenfell Tower fire: Survivors, friends and family mark first anniversary of tragedy

Grenfell Tower fire: Survivors, friends and family mark first anniversary of tragedy

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The Grenfell community is tonight remembering family and friends who died in the tragedy, the horrific memories of scenes they were “not meant to see” inescapable in the shadow of the tower block.

A 24-hour vigil is marking one year since the disaster, which saw 72 people killed after fire broke out and rapidly spread out of control, engulfing the 24-storey building in west London.

As relatives sat together in the street, a Tube driver stopped his train on a bridge overlooking them and held up a green banner in support, to the cheers of the crowd.

Some of those affected by the fire have spoken to Sky News to mark the first anniversary.

“He liked his flat very much, it was very pretty and newly furnished,” said Daniella Burigotto, the mother of architect Marco Gottardi, who died that night with girlfriend Gloria Trevisan, also an architect.

“You could see all of London and everyone who went to see them said, ‘mamma mia, it is lovely here; if by chance you leave this flat Marco, let us know’.

“We were all completely unaware of how it had been renovated. It is really horrible finding these things out afterwards. If Marco had known beforehand he’d never have agreed to an apartment of that type.”

Ms Trevisan’s mother Emanuela Disaro said her daughter “loved a lot”.

“She loved life, she loved the company of others, she loved her family, she loved everyone. She loved a lot.

“When I have finished my journey on this earth, I will meet her again. I want to believe there is a place where we all will be reunited. The question is when.”

The couple’s story has been turned into a fairytale book, in which they are saved from a castle under attack from a fire-breathing dragon.

“From the pain, you can glean something good,” said Roberta Gattel, a close friend of the couple and the artist behind the project.

Zoe Levack, who lives in the community, started the Kids on the Green project to provide activities and psychological help for young people affected by trauma.

She says most are not “doing particularly well” and that the anniversary is “a very poignant time”.

“We’ve been trying to get on with our lives but this atrocity has taken over all of our lives,” she said. “There’s a huge amount of post-traumatic stress in the community and it does take a while for it to really show itself… we’re just doing what we can to support them.

“I think a lot of people are going to be falling apart. A lot of children in the community have woken up this morning, thinking about the friends they’ve lost, knowing that today was the last day they played with their friends.”

Michelle Widdrington, a mother who also works with the Kids on the Green project, added: “The things we saw that night, we were not meant to see.

“You saw people screaming for help and you know they didn’t make it out and that’s a really hard thing to deal with for everyone.”

Ms Levack says there is still anger in the community over the response to the fire.

It comes as Theresa May offered a personal apology for not meeting survivors of the tragedy on her first visit to Grenfell Tower.

She said it was something she would “always regret”.

(c) Sky News 2018: Grenfell Tower fire: Survivors, friends and family mark first anniversary of tragedy