Grenfell Tower families to receive minimum of £5500 from No 10

Frustration has been mounting in recent days as information about those still missing in the blaze has been scanty and efforts to find temporary housing for the hundreds of now-homeless tower residents have faltered.

Police Commander Stuart Cundy said Saturday that this number, which was based on reports from the public, may rise.

This past Sunday was father's day and for many families out there the day was celebrated with messages of love along with spending time together, but for the surviving victims of the Grenfell Tower block fire yesterday was a heartbreaking reminder of what they have lost.

"Tony leaves behind a large family, his wife, sons and grandchildren, including one grandchild he will never get to meet".

He fought back tears as he told reporters about the scene inside the 24-storey tower in north Kensington.

He said: "I thought the way they expressed themselves with a mixture of passion and reason was fantastic, and I hope it's the beginning of a process, not the end of a process, the beginning of a process of real listening between Government, RBKC (the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council), local residents, that will bring about lasting change".

The Prime Minister also gave reassurance to the victims of the fire that they will be consulted on the terms of reference for the upcoming Public Inquiry.

Footage from inside the gutted building has been released, showing the extent of the damage.

"And it is incredibly hard to describe the devastation in some parts of that building".

Mr Cundy said: "Sadly, as of this morning, I am afraid to say there are now 79 people who we believe are now dead or missing and we have to presume they are dead".

At least 70 people, including children and entire families, have been reported missing following the fire.

On Sunday Downing Street said residents of the burnt-out tower block would receive £500 in cash followed by a bank payment of £5,000 from Monday.

Cundy promised an exhausting investigation into the tragedy. But I don't think anything prepared me for what I was going to see when I was in there.

Her government is trying to make up ground in reacting to a fire that trapped people in their beds in the early hours of Wednesday, with many unable to escape as the flames raced up the building, cutting off exit routes and forcing some to jump.

Residents living near Grenfell Tower say they have been told they face three weeks without mains water in the height of summer if they return to their homes.

"But we will do it with our utmost professionalism and we will do everything we can as quickly as we can to locate everybody who is in there".

  • Leroy Wright