People trapped near the top of the burning Grenfell Tower were told helicopters were being sent to their rescue, according to a mother and son who escaped the blaze.
A disabled survivor who was rescued by her son from the top floor of the 24-storey building said up to 40 people made their way towards the roof of the building for the anticipated airborne rescue.
Flora Neda, 55, said the instructions had come from firefighters tackling the blaze which broke out in the early hours of June 14.
She was talking to Channel 4 News with her 24-year-old son Farhad, who carried his mother down smoke-filled stairwells and over bodies to escape.
Mrs Neda’s husband is thought to have died in the blaze.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it does not use helicopters for rescues from high rise tower block fires.
The Neda family had returned home just 30 minutes before the fire broke out.
Farhad said: “We saw our neighbours from downstairs running up, looking worried, banging on the doors, telling everyone to get out. And when we asked them what was going on, they said ‘There’s a fire’, and there’s no way out. So that’s the first we heard.”
Mrs Neda told the programme: “35 or 40 people came up and they said the fire brigade told us you have to go up and we send for you helicopter rescue.”
She added: “One of the Iranian ladies [who took refuge in her flat] spoke to her [own] son who said that he wanted to come take her away. She replied that this was not necessary as the helicopter was coming to take them away.”
Farhad said: “I don’t think anyone was instructed to seek help from the helicopters. There were helicopters up. I’m not sure how many. There was definitely more than one.”
Recounting the night of the fire, Farhad said his mother threatened to jump from her high-rise home rather than die in the flames.
“So I just grabbed my mum, so that she didn’t jump out the window, I pulled her,” he said.
“And I said ‘OK we need to at least try to get out’. We thought we were dead 100% that night. So I said ‘at least let’s try’.
“And at that point I grabbed my mum, and because there was so much smoke I didn’t let go of her. Because I knew that if I let go I wouldn’t be able to find her again. So I took her and we started feeling our way.
“She suffers from myasthenia gravis, which is a muscular condition. So I knew it would be difficult for her to go down stairs especially.
"So I was carrying her weight above on my shoulders and we just made our way out. And we literally couldn’t see anything. It was so difficult.”
Mrs Neda pleaded with her husband Saber, 57, to come with them.
She said: “I called to him so many times to keep away from the window. He was standing and watching the fire. And then my son took my hand and said ‘Mum you have to leave here’. I called my husband and said ‘let’s go’. He said ‘I’m behind you’.”
Farhad said he believes his father, who jumped from the building, stayed behind to help other neighbours.
He told Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow : “I think he was trying to help the other neighbours who had come into our flat - the four ladies - to help them get out as well.
“He was always the type of person who would try to help other people before himself. I know that he wouldn’t have left anyone in there.”
An LFB spokesman said: “The Grenfell fire was an unprecedented fire and due to the ongoing investigations we cannot go into details of what happened on the night.
“That said, we can confirm that we do not use helicopters to conduct rescues from high rise towers fires.”
A JustGiving page set up to support the Neda family following the fire has raised more than £55,000.
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