The remains of residential tower block Grenfell Tower in west London, a day after it was gutted by fire. Picture: AFP/Tolga Akmen
The remains of residential tower block Grenfell Tower in west London, a day after it was gutted by fire. Picture: AFP/Tolga Akmen

Grenfell Tower delivers final tragedy

ONE of the Grenfell Tower fire survivors who has been in hospital since the tragedy has lost her fight for life, seven months after the event.

Maria Del Pilar Burton, 65, better known as Pily, was rescued from the 19th floor of the burning building when fire broke out on the evening of June 14, last year.

Ms Burton and her husband Nick, 50, stayed in their flat until 3.30am, more than three hours after the blaze started, advice many of the victims said was given to them by firefighters at the time.

Neighbours had urged the couple to leave but Mr Burton said they were forced to stay in their apartment because his wife suffered from a debilitating long-term illness and he couldn't carry her down the stairs.

Maria Del Pilar Burton has lost her fight for life, seven months after the tragedy. Picture: Facebook
Maria Del Pilar Burton has lost her fight for life, seven months after the tragedy. Picture: Facebook

Fire had almost completely tore through the building by the time firefighters bombarded their room, Mr Burton told British media outlets in July.

In the chaos the couple became separated, before Mr Burton was reunited with his wife when he saw firefighters carrying her out of the tower.

"Apart from her T-shirt, they had cut off all her clothes," he told the Standard at the time.

"I threw my towel over her to cover her modesty and followed them as they ran past.

"There was no life in her. I thought she was dead. I was crying and in shock."

(FILES) This file photo taken on June 14, 2017 shows pedestrians looking up towards Grenfell Tower, a residential block of flats in west London, as firefighters continue to control a fire that engulfed the building in the early hours of the morning. Wednesday July 12, 2017 sees the four-week anniversary of the fire, marked by a vigil at the site. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS
(FILES) This file photo taken on June 14, 2017 shows pedestrians looking up towards Grenfell Tower, a residential block of flats in west London, as firefighters continue to control a fire that engulfed the building in the early hours of the morning. Wednesday July 12, 2017 sees the four-week anniversary of the fire, marked by a vigil at the site. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS

A panicked Mr Burton lost his wife yet again and couldn't find her at the hospital, which lead to her being reported as one of the missing people in the deadly blaze.

But despite her desperate shot at survival, Ms Burton died on January 29, with Mr Burton only making the tragic news public for the first time this week.

He paid tribute to his 'flamboyant' wife on social media, welcoming the community to her funeral: "Pily was a colourful, flamboyant and loving person who sadly left us on the January 29 and I would encourage you to reflect that in your attire on the day," he wrote.

The remains of residential tower block Grenfell Tower in west London, a day after it was gutted by fire. Picture: AFP/Tolga Akmen
The remains of residential tower block Grenfell Tower in west London, a day after it was gutted by fire. Picture: AFP/Tolga Akmen

"I would like to note that this is an open invitation to everyone and anyone who would like to pay their respects and join myself and my dear family on this significant day."

Flames engulfing Grenfell Tower, a 27-storey block of flats in west London. Picture: AFP/Giulio Thuburn
Flames engulfing Grenfell Tower, a 27-storey block of flats in west London. Picture: AFP/Giulio Thuburn

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