In praise of firefighters

I’m in London today and woke up to the tragic news of the fire in north Kensington. I walked up Ladbroke Grove this morning and could see Grenfell Tower. It is just incomprehensible what people are going through there.

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I came across many, many firemen along the way and stopped to say hello and share best wishes with all of them. What extraordinary people firefighters are, especially in these most terrible of situations. They are the people who run into the building while urging everyone else to get out. How positive they are, considering the horrors they have to see and deal with.

I’m with my grandkids as I write, and it makes one want to weep when something like this fire happens. We’ve been involved in several fires over the years, but nothing like this, and know how lucky we have been to escape with only material things lost.

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All of our thoughts are with everyone affected by the fire, from the residents to the families to the firefighters. Our London headquarters is just across the street from the Paddington Fire Station, which has become a hub for firefighters from around the city. Speaking to the exhausted and hungry men and women who had just returned from a long night at Latimer Road, our team learned that water, food and some clean clothes would make a world of difference, and so they filled a car with much-needed supplies for these true heroes. Meanwhile, Virgin Unite, our not-for-profit foundation, is reaching out to local charities to better understand the needs of those most affected. 

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