While much of the world’s attention is focused on the victims and cause of London’s Grenfell Tower fire, the fire commissioner is concerned for the mental health of those firefighters who were on scene.
London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told the Independent that the firefighters who tried to rescue victims from the horrific blaze were in tears and that the trauma the witnessed could cause them psychological problems in the future.
“They were in and out of that building, committing time after time to rescue the people we knew were in there,” she told Sky News. “There was never any hesitation.
“As the commissioner of the London Fire Brigade I was truly anxious for a long time about the safety of the building and my firefighters in there, but they were never going to stop until they physically could not get in there any more.
“The thing that worries me going forward is the psychological effect. A lot of my firefighters yesterday experienced things they have never seen before.
“I spoke to some people who were truly distressed – not least because they knew there were people still in there and they were battling through the heat to get there.
“What happened yesterday truly traumatized a lot of people.”
She said seeing parents toss their babies from windows in a desperate attempt to save their lives was especially hard on the firefighters.
“I spoke to one of my officers who was very near when someone came out of the window, he was in tears. He is a professional fire officer.
“We like to think of ourselves as roughty-tufty and as heroes but they have feelings. People were absolutely devastated by yesterday’s events.”