Two of the last people to escape the Grenfell inferno doused themselves with water and staggered down 16 floors of flames after a sobbing 999 operator said nobody could save them.
Grandad Senor Macit, 56, and his wife Hanife, 57,had attempted three earlier escapes from their sixteenth floor home but had been forced back inside by hot, black smoke.
But after an emotional 999 operative told him “there was nothing more they could do”, Mr Macit said he decided he would prefer to die “trying to escape than waiting to burn to death.”
Holding back the tears Mr Macit, a chauffeur, said:
“The woman on the phone was sobbing, she said to me, ‘We cannot reach your floor. Your best option is to just run from your flat’.“I told her we were in our fifties and I had not run anywhere since my army days but she just said, ‘please, try to save yourselves, you just have to run’.“I just made the decision, I thought, we can wait here to burn to death or we can try to escape. I thought, ‘we have to take the chance on the stairs.Maybe we are not meant to die and there is a chance for us’.”I thought we have to take a chance so we put extra clothes on and I poured three buckets over my wife and then myself so we were as wet as possible.We put wet towels round our heads and faces.I said to my wife, ‘Ok, we are going, we have to make it down the stairs, we are not coming back.’My wife grabbed her handbag and I got the passports and we went out in to the hall.We managed to get down through the fire door and on to the stair well. It was pitch black and the smoke was very hot.We found the handrail and started slowly making our way down the stairs.
“When we got to the fourteenth floor I stepped on something soft that made a groaning noise but I knew there was nothing we could do for them and I told my wife to keep moving.”
On the tenth floor the couple said they ran in to a firefighter who they said did not see them because he appeared “dazed” by the smoke.
Mr Macit said:
“I just shouted at him to get out the way but he didn’t see me. He was wearing a mask but his eyes looked glazed.”
The couple made it to the ground floor at around 4.30am where they were ushered out by firefighters who were using police riot shields to protect them from falling debris.
Mr Macit said they did not see anyone else on the way out and were the last two to escape.
The couple spent three days in hospital where they were treated for severe smoke inhalation and are now staying at a central London hotel until a new property is available.
Mr Macit said:
“I still have not come to terms with what happened. So many of my neighbours were lost and we just hope God gives them peace.
“I don’t know how we made it out. It was a miracle it happened. God helped me.”
Culled from the Daily Sun