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Grenfell Tower Fire: Justice Is Slipping Further Away, Says Survivor Three Years On

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14.06.2020

Three years ago, as fire raged in a building all around him, Ed Daffarn collapsed in a black, smoke-logged corridor high up on the 16th floor of Grenfell Tower and believed he was taking his last breaths.

The horror of that night – not only his own miraculous escape from the tower, but the unimaginable sights he witnessed after reaching fresh air outside – is still desperately raw for the 57-year-old.

As the third anniversary of Grenfell is marked on Sunday, Daffarn has struggled to move forward with his life and criticises the “abject failure” of politicians to deliver a lasting legacy for the atrocities that occurred.

The former mental health social worker still lives with only a handful of possessions, just two pairs of jeans, experiencing a kind of paralysis that has stopped him from creating a new home to replace the one he lost so suddenly and so violently in the fire.

“I lost everything and I haven’t really been able to start that rebuilding process,” Daffarn told HuffPost UK. “So I don’t really have any possessions still three years after Grenfell.

“It’s definitely had some profound impact on my life. I’m finding it difficult to reimagine a life where I’m going to be surrounded by lots of nice homely possessions. I think I’m going to live a very Spartan life from now on.”

A searing sense of injustice about what he witnessed that night continues to drive Daffarn to talk about it, to fight for truth, for prosecutions, for change.

He says it will have a profound effect on his own mental wellbeing if there is no legacy from Grenfell, but fears as time passes that justice is slipping further away.

“As every month and every year goes on now I begin to fear that the legacy that needs to come from Grenfell is not going to happen,” he said. “And that fills me with anger, rage and sadness.”

The story of Grenfell is now notorious.

In the early hours of a warm summer’s night on June 14, 2017, a social housing block in one of London’s most affluent boroughs was rapidly consumed by fire, killing 72 people and leaving hundreds more homeless.

In the two years before, the 1970s concrete block had been refurbished and covered with flammable cladding that spread the blaze at lightning speed around the outside walls, filling the inside with toxic smoke and leaving many people trapped.

A public inquiry concluded last year that the tower was “non-compliant with building regulations”.

Daffarn had moved into the block 16 years before and says he loved his home and the vibrant community on the Lancaster West Estate in North Kensington, where the tower stands.

He had, over many years, gathered the possessions that come to symbolise a life – a record collection of more than 1,000 vinyls, a picture his father........

© HuffPost


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