False viral rumours online claimed that firefighters took hours to arrive at the deadly inferno at London’s Grenfell Tower.
Sick social media users shared false claims that firefighters had failed to attend the blaze – when in fact they were on the scene six minutes after the first 999 call.
One user claimed at 4.12AM, ‘WHERE ARE THE FIREFIGHTERS? WHAT THE F*** IS TAKING SO LONG!? Fire getting out of control, people still trapped in Grenfell Tower, Latimer Road.’
Another widely shared post claimed that firefighters took 1hr 45 minutes to arrive.
In fact, more than 200 firefighters were dispatched to the blaze, arriving within six minutes, and focusing initially on getting as many residents out as possible.
When the heat became so intense fire crews could not go into the tower at 3am, firemen boarded cherry pickers to douse the flames around people in flats.
One veteran firefighter, Terry, who has served for 27 years, said that police with riot shields helped crews enter the building by shielding them from falling debris.
Terry told LBC, ‘I was at that fire from 2am until 10am. When we turned up we could only see one side on fire but in a couple of hours that whole building was engulfed.
‘It was like The Towering Inferno and 9/11 rolled into one.
‘To get in the building we were running a gauntlet of flying debris and the police were using their riot shields.
‘Me and my crew were involved in rescues. On the stairwells, on the way up to certain flats we were detailed to go to by fire survival guidance. People were coming down the stairs in smoke.