As flames violently leapt from an apartment tower in London on the night of June 14, 2017, 39-year-old Natasha Elcock, her partner, and her six-year-old daughter slept in their beds, unaware of the terrifying events awaiting them.
Once the family noticed that something wasn’t right and saw to their horror that the building was on fire, they called the fire department. They were told to stay calm and not leave their apartment under any circumstances as help was was on the way.
Though extremely afraid, Natasha and her partner trusted the fire department’s advice; they remained in their apartment on the 11th floor of Grenfell Tower and waited. The couple followed the safety regulation everyone in the 24-storey apartment block knew: the “stay-put” rule. If there is no fire in living spaces or in the corridor, nobody is allowed to leave their apartments. The building was equipped with fireproof doors that could hold back the flames for 30 minutes – more than enough time for the fire department to escort residents to safety. In theory.