Grenfell Tower fire victims in emotional anniversary remembrance: 'Forever in our hearts'

PHOTO: People pay their respects at Notting Hill Methodist Church during the Grenfell Tower Anniversary in London, June 14, 2018.PlayBen Perry/REX via Shutterstock
WATCH Grenfell Tower fire victims mourned on anniversary

Londoners who lost loved ones in the Grenfell Tower fire marked the anniversary at the remnants of the building Thursday with a moment of silence to remember the 72 victims who died.

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Many wiped away tears and carried white flowers in their hands. Some wore green as part of a campaign to show support for those whose lives were forever altered by the fire.

Mahmoud Alkarad, a Syrian refugee who lived in the tower at the time of the fire, brought a photo of his close friend Mohammad Alhaj Ali, who died in the fire.

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SLIDESHOW: London's tragic Grenfell fire and aftermath

“It's been a year and it went so quickly,” he told ABC News. “It’s emotional to be here and remember my friend and how we used to live.”

PHOTO: An underground tube train passes Grenfell Tower in London, June 14, 2018.Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
An underground tube train passes Grenfell Tower in London, June 14, 2018.

Alkarad added that it's been comforting to mourn with others who lost friends and family members in the blaze. Since the fire, he said he has gotten to know many of his former neighbors.

PHOTO: People attend a service at the base of Grenfell Tower on the one year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, June 14, 2018, in London.(Stefan Rousseau/Getty Images
People attend a service at the base of Grenfell Tower on the one year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, June 14, 2018, in London.

“We are united now,” he said. “I used to know 10 people in the tower. Now I know 40.”

PHOTO: Tributes to victims of the Grenfell fire are displayed near the site of the tower bock in London, Britain, June 14, 2018, to mark the one year anniversary.Neil Hall/REX via Shutterstock
Tributes to victims of the Grenfell fire are displayed near the site of the tower bock in London, Britain, June 14, 2018, to mark the one year anniversary.

The fire, which broke out last year in the overnight hours in North Kensington, burned for about 24 hours. It took hundreds of firefighters to get the 24-story structure under control.

The deadly blaze in the public housing apartment complex sparked outrage and raised questions about inequality in one of the richest boroughs of London. Before the fire, residents had complained about lack of safety in the building and warned that a massive fire could happen.

PHOTO: Friends and relatives of victims of the Grenfell fire wear symbolic green, as they take part in a silent procession to mark the one year anniversary of the fire in London, June 14, 2018.Neil Hall/REX via Shutterstock
Friends and relatives of victims of the Grenfell fire wear symbolic green, as they take part in a silent procession to mark the one year anniversary of the fire in London, June 14, 2018.

A public inquiry examining the circumstances leading up to the fire recently included feedback from experts, who determined that there were safety issues with doors, ventilators and elevators in the building and that external cladding helped the flames spread quickly. The fire started on the fourth floor, but it only took minutes for flames to engulf the building.

London’s Metropolitan Police is carrying out a criminal investigation and considering manslaughter charges.

PHOTO: Friends and relatives of victims of the Grenfell fire react before taking part in a silent procession, in tribute to victims as they mark one year anniversary of the fire in London, June 14, 2018.Neil Hall/REX via Shutterstock
Friends and relatives of victims of the Grenfell fire react before taking part in a silent procession, in tribute to victims as they mark one year anniversary of the fire in London, June 14, 2018.

On Thursday, a nationwide moment of silence was observed at noon local time. It lasted 72 seconds, one second for each victim.

The tower was lit green at 12:54 a.m., the same time as the fire was first reported one year ago.

At the memorial, the names of the 72 people who died in the fire were read aloud, followed by the words “forever in our hearts.”

PHOTO: A woman looks at a memorial outside the Notting Hill Methodist Church on the one-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, June 14, 2018, in London.Simon Dawson/Getty Images
A woman looks at a memorial outside the Notting Hill Methodist Church on the one-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, June 14, 2018, in London.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan laid a wreath in front of the tower.

PHOTO: Relatives, survivors and friends of victims of the Grenfell tower fire walk to the tower to hold a vigil, one year after the fire in London, June 13, 2018.Peter Nicholls/Reuters
Relatives, survivors and friends of victims of the Grenfell tower fire walk to the tower to hold a vigil, one year after the fire in London, June 13, 2018.

British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted a tribute to the victims of the fire and their loved ones.

"Today we remember those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower and pay tribute to their family, friends and loved ones for the strength and dignity they have shown," she tweeted.

PHOTO: People pay their respects at Notting Hill Methodist Church during the Grenfell Tower Anniversary in London, June 14, 2018.Ben Perry/REX via Shutterstock
People pay their respects at Notting Hill Methodist Church during the Grenfell Tower Anniversary in London, June 14, 2018.

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