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The heartbreaking reason dogs are being deployed at Grenfell Tower

Mirror logo Mirror 17/06/2017 Joshua Barrie

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Video provided by Reuters

The bravery of the emergency services, who worked tirelessly to save the lives of those trapped in the horrific Grenfell Tower fire, will be remembered.

From the London Fire Brigade, 200 firefighters risked their on lives to tackle the blaze. Sadly, not everyone inside the building – as perilous and needlessly dangerous as it was – could be reached.

In the days following the tragedy, and in the weeks to come, there was and is more work to be done. Now, as well as uncovering what could be a painful truth regarding the building's quality, efforts are focused on finding and identifying some of the people who died in Grenfell Tower. Many are missing.

The operation sees firefighters, police, urban search and rescue, and the Metropolitan Police Disaster Victim Identification team come together to work through the burnt out Kensington tower block.

Dogs are helping too

Credits: LondonFire/Twitter © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: LondonFire/Twitter

Specially trained dogs are also vital to the mission. The search process is painstaking, and as dogs are smaller, more agile, and have such a keen sense of smell (better than any technology), the animals have been deployed at more challenging areas.

The upper floors of the 24-storey high rise, those most damaged, and where people are most likely to have been killed, benefit particularly from the dogs' expertise.

The canines come from the LFB and the MET's urban search crews. They're given special equipment, and even little boots to protect their feet from heat and broken glass. While obviously dangerous, no fire dog has ever been harmed while out on an operation.

Credits: LondonFire/Twitter © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: LondonFire/Twitter

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said crews are not expecting to find survivors. The main role of the search is to find the people unaccounted for. The death toll is currently at 30 – but some believe it could be as many as 100.

The dogs mean the sad and devastating process of finding the missing will be quicker. They can get into parts of the building humans simply can't get to.

"This is a large building, there will be a large amount of building work required internally," said Cotton.

"Before we do that, we are going to utilise some specialist dog training teams that we have, that will go through the building and the surrounding area looking for any identification of people."

Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: PA

Cotton explained that 'a good half' of Grenfell Tower has still yet to be explored in detail. The upper floors will need to be ensured to be safe to alleviate any further risk to life.

Cotton added: "This will be a detailed fingertip search. Obviously this will be a very slow and painstaking process."

Fire dogs are specially trained from an early age using positive reinforcement techniques. They live with their handlers and are given adapted transport and kennels when on duty.

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