The following content is a fictional reconstruction of real events.
They’re on the 23rd floor. It’s 03:00am.
“Boy, you better not be smokin’ that trash again! Jason!” Denise Akumba lived on the 23rd floor of Grenfell Tower with her 16 year old son, Jason Akumba. The smell of smoke had grabbed her from her sleep, away from the safety of her dreams. Denise had work tomorrow. She worked as a cashier at the nearby supermarket and had to be up early, for her son to do this was infuriating to say the least.
“This boy will be death of me” and this time she was certain. The room was pitch-black as she scrambled for the switch for the nearby lamp. The smoke seemed to grow thicker as each second passed, there was an urgency in finding the switch that she didn’t expect. “Jason! What’s going on?” There was no response. Denise had never been a stoner but she was partial herself to the odd toke here and there; this didn’t smell like weed. Her fingers found the switch at last. As the room flooded with light, Denise slowly drowned in terror. The smoke had filled her whole room, the light itself failed to make anything clear; the room was foggy and dark. A million thoughts raced through Denise’s mind but she had no time to entertain them, her son was in danger and it was her instinct to save him.
Jason’s teenage years were nothing less than conventional, meaning that his door was locked. The only time the door would open was for snacks to fuel his gaming marathon and for dinner, neither of which were an option right now. “Jason,” she gasped. Denise stumbled her way to his door, she could feel the smoke burning her lungs and her asthma made her coughing fits more aggressive. With all her strength she pounded on the door and screamed with the voice she had left “Jason, we’re going to burn!” Immediately her knees bent and she collapsed to her feet. Her head tilted backwards, relaxed on the door, tears fell from her stinging eyes, her mouth whispered prayers. “Lord, our Father in Heav-” the sound of the lock unlatching froze her tongue in place, the door opened in turn. “Oh my God” Jason looked at his mother’s slumped body with disbelief. He quickly pulled her in and closed the door. Jason’s room had much less smoke than the rest of his house. His mother always kept her window open to let air in, she always told him to do the same; he never listened. Jason quickly put two-and-two together and snatched his asthma-pump from his closet. Jason held his mother by the head as he fed the pump to her mouth. His eyes watered but there was no time to cry; his mother was dying, fire was coming from somewhere, his phone was going mental, and he had to find a way to get himself and his mother out alive.
-End of part 1.
link to part 2: Grenfell Tower Tragedy pt 2
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