Grenfell Tower fire: The UK remembers one year on

Last updated at 12:34
People light candles at memorial serviceGetty Images
People all across the UK have been remembering those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy that happened exactly one year ago. Here, people are lighting candles as they attend a special memorial service

The UK is remembering a terrible fire that happened in London one year ago.

On 14 June 2017, Grenfell Tower in West Kensington was completely destroyed by a fire, in which 72 people lost their lives.

At midday on the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, many people across the UK fell silent to remember those affected what happened.

We take a look back at what happened that day - and what has been done over the last 12 months.

What happened?

Very early in the morning on Wednesday 14 June 2017, a fire broke out on the fourth floor in Grenfell Tower in North Kensington in London.

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What happened at Grenfell Tower?

Firefighters arrived at the scene within six minutes of the fire starting, but it spread extremely quickly throughout the 24 storeys of the building.

Firefighters tackling the Grenfell fireEuropean Photopress Agency
Firefighters arrived within minutes of the fire being reported by a resident of the building

Videos taken on mobile phones show it took less than 30 minutes after firefighters had arrived for the fire to reach the top of the building.

It took about 24 hours to get it under control.

As a result of the blaze, 72 people lost their lives and many more were injured.

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All those who managed to escape were made homeless, as the building - which had recently been refurbished - was completely destroyed. It also destroyed homes in the surrounding area.

Grenfell Tower before the fireGrenfell Tower Inquiry
This picture shows Grenfell Tower before it was refurbished (on the left) and afterwards, with a new covering put onto the building

The head of the London Fire Brigade, Dany Cotton, described the fire as "unprecedented", which means that nothing like it had ever happened before.

What happened afterwards?

In the days and months following the fire, there was a big recovery operation.

Lots of people got involved to try to help those affected by what happened.

Downing Street lit up greenPress Association
To mark the one-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, buildings across the UK were lit up in green to remember the victims. In this picture, you can see Downing Street - where the UK prime minister is based - lit up in green

Churches, mosques and community centres all offered clothes, food and water, and many members of the public donated items and money.

Figures from the Red Cross suggest 40,000 boxes of items were donated, which 600 volunteers helped to sort through.

By July, nearly £20m had been raised to help victims.

People sort through donationsGetty Images
Many people donated items to help those who had been affected by the tragedy

A group of stars released a single to help to raise money, which went straight to the top of the iTunes charts.

Six months after the tragedy, a memorial service was held to remember those who had lost their lives and been affected by the tragedy.

Why did the fire happen?

The first thing many people wanted to know after the fire was how it had happened and why it spread up the building so unusually quickly.

Many people believe that a material used on the outside of the building called cladding played a part in this.

Cladding is used on buildings to help to protect them from the weather and to make them look nicer.

An investigation is still going on to work out the causes of the fire - and what, if any, role the cladding and other factors played in making the fire spread so quickly.

What has happened since?

The Grenfell Tower fire led to a UK-wide investigation to find any buildings with similar cladding to that used on Grenfell Tower, to make sure other buildings were safe.

Towns and cities around the country were told to give details to the government about the cladding used on their tower blocks.

Many more people who lived in the same area as the tower had to leave their homes, as their buildings had the same cladding as Grenfell Tower, and experts wanted to check that where they lived was safe.

Checks have also been done to make sure that apartment blocks have the right safety features like smoke alarms and sprinklers.

Other apartment blocksAFP
Other apartment blocks have been tested following the Grenfell tragedy to make sure that they are safe

A big investigation, called a public inquiry, is now looking into exactly what happened.

Experts will look at whether or not the building met the right safety regulations and also at how the authorities responded.

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The Metropolitan Police is also looking into whether or not a crime was committed with what happened.

It is a huge investigation as the incident is so serious. Over 1,100 witnesses have spoken to the police and 383 companies are involved.

A report is due to be released later this year, which will mark the first round of investigations, but there will be more work to be done in the following months.

On Thursday 14 June, a minute's silence will be held across the UK to remember those who lost their lives in the fire.

Memorial events will also be taking place, especially in the area where it happened where there will be special religious services and a garden of peace and healing is being unveiled.

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