People Went to Incredible Lengths to Save Kids From the London Fire

Grenfell Tower London fire
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/Getty Images

The world is at a complete standstill as news continues to pour in about the Grenfell Tower fire in London that has claimed the lives of 12 people and injured 74 thus far. Though the cause of the terrifying blaze that engulfed a 24-story residential high-rise remains unknown, there are dozens of stories surfacing about parents' heroic attempts to save their children and crippling tales of families still searching for loved ones who went missing during the fire.

  • Officials believe the fire began on the fourth floor just before 1 a.m. and quickly spread between units within the 120-apartment building.

    Fire and smoke pours from a burning 24 storey residential Grenfell Tower block in Latimer Road, West London on June 14, 2017 in London, England
    Mirrorpix/Splash News

    An estimated 200 firefighters and 40 engines arrived at the scene, with many rushing into the Grenfell Tower to rescue as many of the estimated 400–600 residents as possible, while others continued to battle the flames.

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    Sadly, crews were only able to reach the 12th floor of the 20-story building at one point, BBC News reports, which left many people trapped and out of options. NBC News reports people were seen "dangling children out the windows to try and get them to safety."

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  • Amazingly, one mom was able to "drop" her baby to safety from the ninth floor.

    A fire seen raging through flats at Grenfell Tower in west London
    Splash News

    Desperate to save the baby's life, the mom wrapped the baby in a blanket and released him to people gathered below. "Miraculously, the baby just sort of dropped in a straight line, and a guy just ran forward and the baby fell into his arms," witness Samira Lamrani recounts to NBC News.

  • For others, like dad Michael Paramasivan and his family, it was quick thinking that saved their lives.

    A fire seen raging through flats at Grenfell Tower in west London.
    Splash News

    "If we had stayed in that flat, we would've perished," Paramasvian tells BBC News, after the escaping from the seventh floor with his girlfriend and their baby daughter. "My gut instinct told me just to get the girls out. I wrapped the little one up because of the smoke and I just got them out."

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    Other witnesses report seeing people creating makeshift ropes out of bedsheets to flee the fire and even children as young as 6 jumping out of the building. Parents and onlookers did everything they could to help as many people escape as possible.

    "We could hear people screaming 'help me' so me and my brother, with some other people who live in the area, ran over to the estate to where you could still get underneath it and there were people just throwing their kids out saying 'save my children,'" Yahoo 7 News reports an eyewitness told BBC.

  • With so many families separated from their loved ones, the search continues for many who are sadly missing.

    People have been flocking to social media using the #GrenfellTower hashtag desperate to reunite with relatives who are still missing. 

    "My 13-year-old niece Jessie has become separated with her family in the #GrenfellTower Fire," Ana Ospina, Jessie's aunt, writes on Twitter. "Please if you see her, get in touch ASAP. RT Pls."

    "[A] 14-year-old boy on BBC [is] saying some of his classmates are 'missing,' English teacher Carl Hendrick posts on Twitter. "Heartbreaking."

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    An eyewitness tells BBC News a mother of six was also separated from two of her children during the family's escape from the 12th floor to the tower's main entrance. "There was one woman on the 12th floor, she's left with her six kids and by the time she's got to the ground floor, there's only four of them with her," the witness claims.

  • During the heartbreaking aftermath of the fire, the community continues to rally together in such an incredible way.

    Grenfell Towers in West London
    Mirrorpix/Splash News

    "[Firefighters] running into the tower are the true [heroes]!" British professional boxer Tony Bomber wrote on Twitter. "Looking at the building on the news is scary, never mind running into it!"

    English vlogger Jim Chapman even tweeted plans to book hotel rooms near the fire for survivors. "Get in touch if you have nowhere to stay and I'll try to get a roof over your head," he wrote.

    Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver also took to Instagram to offer victims free food and shelter in his nearby restaurant. "You are all welcome to come hang out in my restaurant and be fed and watered by my Jamie's Italian team," Oliver writes. "We are in the Westfield just around the corner."

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  • As donated items and housing for the displaced continue to pour in, our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families and their loved ones.

    Grenfell Towers London fire
    Mirrorplex/Splash News

    If you're interested in helping the victims, several organizations are accepting donations.