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Grenfell Tower residents remember 2017 fire victims

Jun 16, 2021, 10:47 AM | Article By: Adama Tine

On 14 June 2017, a fire broke out in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of flats in North Kensington, West London, at 00:54 a.m., causing 72 deaths, including two Gambian-British Khadija Saye and her mother Mary Mendy who later died in hospital.

More than 70 others were injured and 223 people escaped. According to multiple sources, the incident was the deadliest structural fire in the United Kingdom since 1988.

The achievements of residents of Grenfell Tower are being remembered in a series of exhibitions marking the fourth anniversary of the fire disaster that tore through the 24-storey tower block in North Kensington, claiming the lives of 72 people in June 2017.
Because of the pandemic, those who survived the horrific fire, along with people who were bereaved by it and the community are unable to gather and mark the day together.

Children who survived the fire and those who lost loved ones have started creating this year’s children’s banner to remember the people they lost.

Amongst the 72 who died as a result of the incident, includes two of Clarrie Mendy’s relatives: Khadija Saye and her mother aunty Mary Mendy. Saye was a Gambian-British artist and photographer.

Her photography explored her Gambian-British identity and was exhibited in the Diaspora Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2017. Saye died in the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Gambian-British Pan Africanist, Anti Slavery Activist and Promoter of The Gambia Roots International Festival, Clarrie Mendy, was diagnosed after the blaze with Motor Neurone Disease which resulted in her demise 5 December 2020.

According to reports, Clarrie Mendy has campaigned for Mary and Khadija’s justice as she worked around the tower helping survivors and as a result from the toxins of the fire, she contracted Motor Neurones Disease.

“We’re never going to bring people back, we’re never going to return the community, but something meaningful could have come out of this and at the moment, I’m struggling to identify what that something is and that makes Monday more painful,” said safety campaigner and Grenfell survivor Edward Daffarn.

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