By Lucy Thornton and Matthew Young, The Mirror:
Hero firefighters who saved lives at the Grenfell Tower disaster have since been diagnosed with terminal cancer, we can reveal.
A Mirror investigation has found a secret tragedy behind the 2017 fire, which killed 72 residents.
Firefighters, some aged only in their 40s, are suffering with rare cancers linked to the high levels of unprecedented exposure to contaminants during the huge rescue effort.
Up to a dozen have been diagnosed with cancers, the majority of which are understood to be digestive cancers and leukaemia, for which there is no cure.
But it is feared this could be the tip of the iceberg, with some cancers taking up to 25 years to appear.
Now firefighters and survivors of the tragedy have concerns about health problems looming over them and there have been calls for health screening.
A fire service source told us: “We are expecting some really depressing data to be revealed soon. It’s shocking.”
The source told us a list of firefighters with cancer who attended Grenfell is being put together by experts.
It is understood they have already found about a dozen cases but that could end up being more than 20.
In the June 2017 blaze firefighters ran out of air in the tower and many sat in their contaminated suits for more than 10 hours.
Some waited in the smoke-logged basement of the block for up to six hours.
Including those both inside and outside the Tower, and including those in attendance in the days after, around 1,300 firefighters are thought to have been involved.
Analysis of soil, debris and char samples of insulation boards used on the tower revealed heightened concentrations of cancer-causing chemicals and proven carcinogens, including benzene, within 200m of the tower.
Research earlier this week by the Fire Brigades’ Union and the University of Central Lancashire found firefighters are at least twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer if they notice soot in their nose or throat.
Read the full story here.