Willie Thompson survived the 2017 fire but attended every session of the inquiry so respondents know there is a survivor watching them all the time
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A Grenfell Tower survivor has said he cannot put the tragedy behind him until those responsible are brought to justice.
Willie Thompson is still traumatized by what he saw.
But ahead of the fifth anniversary of the fire that killed 72 people in 2017, the 65-year-old said he would not waver in his determination to bring justice.
Willie has witnessed every session of the inquest into the origins of the fire, so respondents, including the council leaders, know they are always being watched by a survivor.
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It began on May 21, 2018 and is due to end next month when police launch their own investigation into why the building was covered in second-rate cladding.
Willie said: “I really think there should be jail time at the end of it. We haven’t given up on putting these people in jail.
“It could be a losing battle but I want it made public that we believe they are responsible for 72 deaths.
“They know and we know they are guilty. But I want the world to know. I want them to be told by a judge or whoever, ‘guilty of corporate manslaughter.’
“I honestly don’t think I can move on until I hear this. i know i can’t And I’m not the only one.” Willie fled his eighth-floor apartment with partner Mary, 60, daughter Cathy, 25, and dog Casper.
The other daughter, Laura, 27, was at university in North Kensington, west London, at the time of the fire.
Willie is struck by the horrors he saw as flames engulfed the building and residents were told by firefighters to “stay inside.” He still has flashbacks.
He recounted how he and others fled to a nearby sports center. With tears in his eyes, Willie added: “That was the first time we were able to see the fire. It went up fast and I was like, ‘Why don’t they get people out?’ I turned to the windows and inside were people who had been told to stay where they were, friends who never came out.”
London Fire Brigade said it has made “significant changes to our policy” for tackling tower block fires after criticism of the “stay there” order.
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A renovation of Grenfell by the landlord, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization, was completed a year before the fire. The block was covered with combustible cladding and insulation, material chosen to reduce costs by £293,000.
No10 said: “So far 45 of the UK’s largest homebuilders have signed our developer pledge and will contribute £5billion to repair their unsafe buildings.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grenfell-survivor-wont-rest-until-27213145 The Grenfell survivor will not rest until he sees convictions to make justice for the victims