Deadly fire rips through residential building in west London

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

Flames ravaged the tower, lighting up the pre-dawn west London skyline and sending up a thick plume of black smoke.

One side of the Apartment completely went on fire.

Flames and smoke billow from the 27-storey Grenfell Tower apartment building in London on Wednesday morning.

"The whole building is just crumbling. Just complete nightmare, absolute nightmare", recounted Littlejohn.

Although the cause of the fire is not yet clear, some residents have pointed to plastic cladding, which can be found on the ground, as "the problem".

Residents said the blaze appeared to start in an apartment on a lower floor and spread upward quickly.

More than 200 firefighters were still tackling the blaze at the tower, where hundreds of people are thought to live.

London Fire Commissioner, Dany Cotton, said: "This is an unprecedented incident".

A woman showed up in tears looking for her sister, who lived in the 24-story building that caught fire.

"I was just screaming at people: "Get out, get out" and they were screaming back at me: "We can't, the corridors are full of smoke", he told BBC Radio.

Witnesses said they saw trapped residents desperately shouting for help from windows on upper floors as flames enveloped the building. It was fire up, up, up. "They couldn't stop the fire".

"Across London we have many, many tower blocks and what we can't have is a situation where people's safety is put at risk because of bad advice being given or if it is the case, as has been alleged, of tower blocks not being properly serviced or maintained".

Ambulances and firetrucks filled the streets around the building, which is located in a diverse, working class area of London. People in surrounding area are evacuated.

Those living in sight of the scene awoke to find smoke pouring from the tower as firefighters continued to pour water on the blackened building.

Police closed the A40 truck road to allow easy access to the fire for emergency services, while London Underground said Hammersmith and city and circle lines had been closed.

About 40 Fire engines and 200 Firefighters were on the spot. Crews wearing breathing apparatus have been working under extremely hard decisions.

"It's so heartbreaking, I've seen someone flashing their torches at the top level and they obviously can't get out".

Tim Downie, who lives not far away, told Britain's Press Association that he feared the building could collapse.

Hugo Zarey, who lives in one of the other buildings, says he could hear the commotion outside when police pounded on his door and ordered him to leave.

"I have seen it with my own eyes".

Other reports by VgToday

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