Talk about tenacity.
Just hours after the devastating Grenfell Tower fire destroyed her home, 16-year-old Ines Alves, still wearing her pajamas, sat for her school chemistry exam.
Alves had fled her 13th floor apartment with her family around 1 a.m., with her chemistry notes in tow, escaping the blaze.
After spending the night at a friend’s house, she arrived promptly at 9 a.m., still wearing the clothes she slept in, at Sacred Heart school in Hammersmith for the test.
“It was my Chemistry GCSE and that’s what I want to do in my A-levels next year so I thought maybe it was necessary to do it,” Alves told the Telegraph, referring to the UK exams taken at 16 and then 18 respectively.
Alves was reportedly told she wouldn’t have to sit for the exam, due to the obvious extenuating circumstances, but she was determined to take it regardless.
“My sister couldn’t sleep, so she studied for the exam instead.”
“We realized about 3 a.m. that our flat had been destroyed and despite being at a friend’s house, my sister couldn’t sleep,” Alves’ brother Tiago told Metro. “My sister couldn’t sleep, so she studied for the exam instead.”
The Alves family’s entire home was destroyed in the blaze, which left at least 17 dead and dozens more injured. Alves’ father is credited with saving the lives of about a dozen neighbors by knocking on doors to wake them up.
Alves said at first she thought the fire was small and she’d be able to return to the apartment to revise her notes. However, given the circumstances, she thought the exam went okay. She then joined her parents and brother in helping their neighbors who had also lost everything in the fire.
Her decision to take the exam was roundly commended online.