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DOOMED TO DIE

Eleven neighbours died together in one Grenfell Tower flat but two escaped from 22nd floor, report reveals as church service marks anniversary of disaster

Using only a wet towel and a cardigan to shield themselves from toxic smoke, cousins Naomi Li and Lydia Liao managed to make it to safety

TWO women miraculously escaped from a 22nd floor Grenfell Tower flat minutes before it was engulfed in flame killing eleven others who chose to stay put inside, a report revealed.

Neighbouring families, including six children, followed advice from firefighters and gathered in flat 193, which is now understood to have the highest death toll in a single Grenfell property.

 Naomi Li and her cousin Lydia fled the flat and managed to make it out of the tower alive
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Naomi Li and her cousin Lydia fled the flat and managed to make it out of the tower alive

The disturbing new details were reported by The Sunday Times as London Mayor Sadiq Khan lead a church service to mark the one year anniversary of the disaster.

A study revealed how Naomi Li, 33, and her cousin Lydia Liao, 24, had taken refuge in flat 193 but left just minutes before the flames reached it.

The pair managed to make it down to safety almost two and a half hours after the inferno started.

Before fleeing the flat, Naomi rang her husband, Lee Chapman, who was abroad on business, and told him: “We are going down, but I don’t know if we will make it or not. I love you.”

 Naomi, pictured here with her husband Lee Chapman, miraculously made it out two and a half hours after the fire started
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Naomi, pictured here with her husband Lee Chapman, miraculously made it out two and a half hours after the fire started
 24 residents died on the top floor - the most on any level - and that two further people jumped to their deaths, a new report has revealed
AFP or licensors
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24 residents died on the top floor - the most on any level - and that two further people jumped to their deaths, a new report has revealed

Using only a wet towel and a cardigan to to protect themselves from toxic fumes, the cousins started their descent, passing bodies in the narrow stairwell.

They were exhausted by the time they reached firefighters on the 5th or 6th floor.

CCTV showed the pair finally exiting the building at 3.22am.

Tragically, the other eleven inside the two-bedroom property all perished following controversial "stay put" advise from the fire service, which is feared to have cost many lives in the tower.

 London Mayor Sadiq Khan today lead a church service ahead of the one year anniversary of the fire later this week
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London Mayor Sadiq Khan today lead a church service ahead of the one year anniversary of the fire later this week
London Fire Brigade representative tells the Grenfell Tower Inquiry that the 'stay put' policy could not have been changed to a mass evacuation at a stroke

The flat was home to Bassem and Nadia Choucair and their "three little angels", Mierna, 13, Fatima, 11, and Zainab, 3.

During the fire they were joined by Nadia's mother, Sirria, 60, and the Kedir family of five from next door.

The family, including a six-year-old boy Yaqub, spent their final moments with their neighbours.

Near the end, Yaqub's dad Hashim Kedir told his son he loved him, his sister revealed at the inquiry. "I love you too, daddy," came a faint reply.

 Yaqub Kedir, 6, was one of the victims killed in flat 193 during the disaster
PA:Press Association
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Yaqub Kedir, 6, was one of the victims killed in flat 193 during the disaster
 Hashim Kedir, 44, died in the flat with his wife and children
PA:Press Association
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Hashim Kedir, 44, died in the flat with his wife and children

Barbara Lane, a fire expert commissioned by the Grenfell inquiry, disclosed details about what happened in flat 193.

She also revealed that 24 residents died on the top floor - the most on any level - and that two further people jumped to their deaths.

Ms Lane told the inquiry the fire service's stay put advice occurred during a "window" of opportunity when "the total evacuation of Grenfell needed to occur".

She said: “It is important to understand if those persons were advised to enter [flat 193] by firefighters during their early rescue attempts.”

 A collage of pictures of the Choucair family shown during the Grenfell inquiry
PA:Press Association
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A collage of pictures of the Choucair family shown during the Grenfell inquiry

The fire started at 12.54am in in a kitchen on the 4th floor but had reached the top floor in just half an hour.

The flames took just 12 minutes to climb 19 storeys at one point.

A memorial garden dedicated to healing, peace and justice for the community devastated by the Grenfell Tower fire was unveiled today in the shadow of the burnt block.

Speaking at the service, Sadiq Khan said: "Our love and prayers are with those who were affected by the fire at Grenfell last year. This garden is to honour them.

"It is a garden of peace, healing and justice. The fire last year shone a light on the inequalities in our city and our country - one of the richest in the world.

"It also shone a light on the resilience and solidarity of this wonderful community. It is in their honour we must find out the truth of what happened."



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