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London Fire: Stories of Heroism Emerge as Relief Efforts Pour in


In the atmosphere of terror and chaos as a London apartment building went up in flames, as victims screamed in terror and took desperate risks to save their lives, some reacted with bravery and heroism.

"I watched one person falling out, I watched another woman holding her baby out the window ... hearing screams, I was yelling everyone to 'get down' and they were saying 'We can't leave our apartments, the smoke is too bad on the corridors'," said witness Jody Martin. 

His words capture the terror and chaos of the Grenfel Tower fire that claimed 30 lives in London Tuesday night. Twenty-four people remain hospitalized, 12 in critical condition. Officials expect those numbers to rise.

However, inspiring acts of courage and heroism shone amidst the mayhem.

Firemen and police on the frontline acted with great courage, endangering themselves to save others. 

One onlooker described a firefighter who stayed at his post, dousing the fire with his hose despite being showered with debris.

Riot police held their shields over firefighters to protect them from debris reigning down.

Emma Dent Coad, the recently-elected Labour MP, said they "worked incredibly hard throughout the night, tackling the fire and tending to those injured."

Telegraph UK reported that several of the firefighters were injured. 

At least 200 responded to the scene, searching for survivors of the fire in the rubble. 

Emergency personnel weren't the only ones risking their lives to save residents. Numerous civilians also jumped into harm's way to help with the rescue. 

A man known as Michael described how he carried a girl he found in the hallway to safety. 

"So, I've got out to the hallway, I've looked through the spy hole, I've seen smoke everywhere, I've opened the door and the neighbors were there," he told Sky News.

"People screaming, there were firemen saying 'get down the stairs', I've grabbed the little girl, I've grabbed my girlfriend, just in a pair of boxer shorts and a dressing gown, someone gave me these clothes, and this is it and now we are here."

Jody Martin grabbed an axe from a fire truck and smashed his way into the burning building. 

"I ran around the building looking for a fire escape and couldn't see any noticeable fire escapes around the building. A lot of debris falling down," he told the BBC.

"I eventually gained entry on to the second floor, and once I got to the corridor I realized there was so much smoke there." 

Joe Walsh opened the doors of Maxilla social club, located at the base of Grenfel Tower, at 2am to offer residents shelter.

"I got the call just before two o'clock and opened the club straight away," he said.

Nearby St. Clement Church also was opened as a place for residents to rest and shower.  

And that's just some of the support that's been shown thus far. 

Donations have been brought in for residents who lost their homes and possessions in the fire. 

Even celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has pledged to provide shelter and food for victims, according to Fox News. 

"To any of the 100's of FAMILIES affected by this terrible fire at Grenfell Tower Notting Hill today, You are all welcome to come hang out in my restaurant and be fed and watered by my Jamie's Italian team," he posted on Instagram.

The Billy Graham Evangelical Association (BGEA) has sent in Rapid Response Teams as well.

"Crisis-trained chaplains from the United Kingdom will serve the community alongside local churches during this time of tragedy," reads their webpage. 

The teams provide prayer and aid for those seeking comfort and support, and share the gospel with those they encounter. 

Just last month, teams were sent into Manchester England after the Ariana Grande concert bombing that left 22 dead. 

It's the fourth time in the past three month that the Rapid Response Teams have been present in a tragedy within the United Kingdom. 

"In a fire, in an apartment building like this or with the warehouse fire in California, it does cause very serious suffering," said international director of Rapid Response Teams Jack Munday. "People have deeper and broader questions about the incident." 

"We don't necessarily have all the answers to those, but we know the One who does. Our hope in these tragic situations is to come alongside people who are hurting and share the comfort and hope of Jesus Christ," he said

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