Grenfell Tower’s hero firefighters have cancer. Twelve firefighters who fought a hell of a fight in the London tower block that burned down on the night of June 13-14, 2017, killing 72 people, are now suffering from tumors caused by inhaling toxic substances. Substances released from the roof of the building made of plastic and flammable materials that fueled the fire. And that they are at the center of the court cases brought by the victims’ families.
Among the tenants killed by the fire was an Italian couple: Gloria Trevisan, 26, and Marco Gottardo, 27, architects from Veneto who flew to England with dreams of a better life. You, the London firefighters, avoided a worse record than the tragedy caused by a short circuit in a taxi driver’s fridge. Thirteen hundred worked to put out the fire and secure Grenfell Tower.
Now, British newspaper The Mirror reveals that 12 of those firefighters have terminal cancer. Another twenty are sick. And others may soon be. There are those who have breathed toxic fumes for six straight hours to put out the flames at the 24th floor condominium in Kensington when front shifts were supposed to last a maximum of four hours. And if you endured ten hours in soot-stained overalls and ate a sandwich during that time, you quickly grabbed a drink. Because the work could not be stopped. There were lives to be saved. According to experts, this is how the toxins got into the stomach and intestines of the operators. And that would explain the many cases of digestive system tumors. The sick firefighters are now demanding compensation. There is not only cancer, but also heart and kidney problems. “The diagnoses can be linked to high exposure to pollutants during the fire,” writes The Chron.
The Grenfell Tower fire, the worst in the UK in 50 years, was accelerated by the deadly combustible envelope and many of those who died were told to remain in their homes. A mistake that is fatal. A study commissioned by the Fire Brigades’ Union and the University of Central Lancashire found that firefighters who accumulate soot in their nose and throat were at least twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer. The Fire Brigades Union has made “further inquiries” to request “appropriate protection and support” for firefighters who have operated at Grenfell, as well as all other crews in the UK. “We are currently involved in two studies examining the possible health effects of pollutants, including one directly linked to the Grenfell Tower fire,” said a London Fire Brigade spokesman. While investigations from a judicial point of view into the responsibilities of the fire are still ongoing.