London firefighters have been praised for their heroic acts as they battle the blaze in Grenfell Tower, west London. The 200 plus brave men and women have been working around the clock to extinguish the inferno and rescue as many people as they can, with London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton saying: "They were never going to stop until they physically could not get in there anymore."
The crews were told to mark their helmets with their names and codes for their fire stations, so they could be identified in case they didn't make it out. One London firefighter who uses the handle @crispymick shared a photo of his helmet, writing: "You know it's not going to be good when you're told to write your name on you helmet before you go in!" The picture resonated with hundreds of people, who thanked Mick and fellow firefighters for their bravery.
Tributes have been paid online to the exceptional crew, with Piers Morgan tweeting: "As others run out, they march in. Absolute heroes." Another Twitter user commented: "The real heroes, our amazing emergency services @LondonFire. Thank you for all that you do, can't imagine what horrors they saw." Alongside a photo of a group of firefighters resting, another admirer wrote: "What superheroes actually look like."
London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said her men and women have been left "truly traumatised" by the horrific blaze. Speaking to Sky News, she said: "I spoke to one of my officers who was very near when someone came out the window, and he was in tears, and he is a professional fire officer. We like to think of ourselves as rufty-tufty and heroes – they are heroes, but they have feelings, and people were absolutely devastated by yesterday's events."
She also expressed her concern about the long-term psychological effect, saying: "A lot of my firefighters yesterday experienced things they will never have seen before and I've spoken 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 and couldn't get there."