Clutching the little girl to his chest and looking up at the inferno raging above, this is a Grenfell Tower hero seconds after he caught a 4 years old thrown from a window 50ft above. The shell shocked child survived the fall from the fifth floor after her neighbor, named only as Pat, plucked her from the sky ‘like a rugby ball’. A witness told that he then tucked her ‘into his chest’ and cuddled the little girl as they sheltered from falling debris under a tree. As the little girl closed her eyes her saviour is shown staring up at the fire above, which consumed the entire 27 storey west London tower in minutes on Wednesday morning. Tragically the 5 years old’s mother is feared to be among those who perished in the Grenfell Tower disaster, which is believed to have claimed more than 100 lives.
The little girl was treated by paramedics at scene and Pat was taken to hospital. Resident Kadelia Woods 20 years old said ‘The mum had the little girl’s head wrapped in a towel and was holding her out of the window and was screaming for help. The fire was raging like crazy. It was about 2am and the flat was filled with smoke. Pat was calling: ‘Drop her, I’ll catch her’. The mum was screaming ‘No, no, I can’t!’ Pat kept reassuring her and then the girl dropped. Everyone’s hearts stopped but Pat managed to catch her like a rugby ball tucked into his chest.’
Pat’s catch is one of many acts of great heroism that have emerged in the aftermath of the worst fire in Britain for decades. A baby who was thrown from the burning building is also thought to have survived unharmed after being caught by an anonymous member of public. Samira Lamrani, an eyewitness at scene, said she witnessed a man run forward to catch the child after a woman on the ninth or 10th floor indicated she wanted to drop it out of harm’s way. She said ‘A woman was gesturing like she was about to throw her baby, if somebody could catch her baby and somebody did and a member of the public, a gentleman, ran forward and managed to grab the baby.’ Ms Lamrani told that she believed the child survived unharmed.
Another resident, named Zara, said she had seen a woman throw a child out of the window from the fifth or sixth floor. She said ‘One woman actually threw her son out of the window. I think he’s OK. I think he might have just had some broken bones and bruises.’
A Grenfell Tower resident told Sky News of how he was able to get his family to safety after rushing them past blaze a few floors below. The man, named Michael, said he had not been woken up by the building’s alarm systems.
He said ‘I was in bed, I was on the verge of falling asleep, and I smelled plastic. I got up, I looked around the flat, checked the plugs: everything was okay. I went to the kitchen to smoke a cigarette, I have opened the window and I heard some woman saying: ‘It’s getting bigger! It’s getting bigger!’.
Michael told that he grabbed his daughter and girlfriend and escorted them out of the building in his underwear before being supplied with clothes and a dressing gown by neighbours.