Residents who fled the Grenfell Tower area describe memories that haunt them – and fears that the real toll may never be known

Thomassina Hessel used to love the view from her studio flat on the Lancaster West estate, of gardens set against the backdrop of Grenfell Tower. Now she sees only a blackened tomb, 24 storeys of burnt-out homes that stir up memories of the terrible fire – and fears for her three-year-old son’s future.

There is no hot water or gas on the estate more than a week after the blaze, and occasionally three loud whistles ring out – a warning for emergency services and residents who have ventured back to their flats to evacuate immediately, because the remains of the tower could shed debris, or even collapse. Non-residents are barred from the estate entirely.

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