‘I have never seen a fire like it’ - one of the first firefighters at the Grenfell blaze helps school raise money for children

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SEVENTY-ONE people lost their lives in a tragic high-rise fire last year and one of the first firefighters on the scene is raising money to help the children of Grenfell.

Firefighter and Crew Manager of G27 North Kensington Red Watch, Chris Secrett from Lee-on-the-Solent was part of the team which was called to the Grenfell fire on June 14 last year.

Pupils of Crofton Hammond Infant School, Stubbington help firefighter Chris Secrett train for the marathon on their Green For Grenfell day         Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Pupils of Crofton Hammond Infant School, Stubbington help firefighter Chris Secrett train for the marathon on their Green For Grenfell day Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The 36-year-old said: ‘When we were first called we thought it was just a high rise incident.

‘I have never seen a fire like it and I would not like to see it again.’

Chris and his team are now trying to raise £50,000 for Kids On The Green, a charity set up the day after to provide the children affected with counselling, by running the London Marathon this year.

Chris said: ‘There are nine of my crew running and we just wanted to help the kids after the incident as they saw horrendous sights.

‘So far we have raised about £20,000 and hope we can get to our target.’

Yesterday Chris helped to organise a Green for Grenfell event at the school of his daughter Lucy.

Headteacher at Crofton Hammond Infant School in Stubbington, Jackie Halton spoke of her delight at helping out with the cause.

She said: ‘We were really happy to do this and when Chris told us about what him and his team had planned of course we wanted to help.’

The school’s children dressed in green clothes in honour of the day and donated to the collection.

Jackie said: ‘The reaction from the kids was great and I am so proud of them.

‘We had one little girl who came in and emptied her piggy bank in to the collection bucket because she said she was very lucky and those children needed it more.’

As part of Chris’ visit he spoke to every class in the school about being a firefighter and answered questions on his 19 years in the fire service.

He added: ‘All the kids have asked some lovely questions and the whole school has been on board as soon as I mentioned the fundraising campaign.’

To donate to the cause visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/run4grenfellg27