London Mayor Sadiq Khan told Grenfell Tower residents “I share your anger” as he braved heckles from a crowd at the scene.
As tensions mounted in the wake of the disaster, Khan was amidst a throng of angry residents demanding answers from power-holders.
He even interrupted a media appearance on Sky News to respond to a dazed young boy, who asked: “Mr Khan, How many children died? What are you gonna do about it?”
Before shaking his hand, Khan told him he personally would do all he could to help.
“The bad news is that a lot of people have died in a fire,” he told him. “There are brave firefighters, police and ambulance workers. They are in the building now.
“I know it is very sad because you may have a friend in there.”
The boy said: “What are you going to do about people’s lives? They lost their homes.”
Khan replied: “We are going to make sure they have somewhere to live.”
His visit to the charred tower block in Kensington comes as Theresa May faces a wave of anger for refusing to speak to residents.
The Mayor met with residents’ fury and the Metropolitan Police confirmed one man was arrested after a skirmish broke out.
The prime minister today said a judge-led public inquiry would get to the bottom of how the blaze was able to rip apart the building.
The Metropolitan Police said the death toll - which was confirmed as 17 today - was likely to rise in the coming days.
But Khan said he would demand a report be released in the summer.
“We cannot afford to wait two or three years for answers,” he said.
Before he could finish his statement, one woman could be heard to shout: “We need [the inquiry] now. Not in a year from now. Now.”
Khan went on: “That is why I am calling on the judge who conducts this inquiry to make sure there is an interim report this summer.”
He added: “Understandably, the residents are very angry and concerned and have genuine questions that demand answers.”
With police officers by his side for protection, he later told reporters as he made to leave: “People are justifiably angry.
“I share their anger and I share their demand for answers.
“Many are grieving and are heartbroken. I met family members and loved ones.
“People are frustrated because for years and years they have been expressing their concerns, and for the last few months more so, and I share their anger.”