Massive blaze engulfs 27-story apartment tower in London

Owen Stevens
June 14, 2017

A number of people have been killed in a huge fire which engulfed a 27-storey block of flats in West London on Wednesday, London Fire Brigade said.

As per media reports 40 fire engines and 200 firefighters were trying to douse the fire at Lancaster West Estate tower block.

The building is the Grenfell Tower in the North Kensington area. It was not clear if there were residents trapped, but people at the scene spoke of not being able to reach friends and family who had been inside.

Commissioner Dany Cotton calls the fire an "unprecedented incident" and says she has never seen anything on this scale in her 29-year career.

One witness described hearing a neighbour screaming for help before apparently jumping out as flames engulfed his seventh-storey flat.

The said repairs, including the addition of some sort of cladding, had been made to the exterior of the block recently.

A residents action group said their warnings about safety had fallen on "deaf ears".

Some 50 people are being treated in hospitals after a massive fire set a 24-story apartment block in west London ablaze overnight.

"This is a large and very serious incident and we have deployed numerous resources and specialist appliances", he said.

London mayor Sadiq Khan also declared it a "major incident". Around midnight the fire was only around the third floor and then, before you know it, the whole 23 floors of the building were all on fire and there were people screaming for help and throwing kids out.

Nick Paget-Brown, the leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough, said "several hundred" people would have been in the block when the fire broke out. Some said no fire alarm sounded.

"This matter is of particular concern as there is only one entry and exit to Grenfell Tower during the improvement works", read a blog post by the Grenfell Action Group.

"Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle this fire", Mr Daly said.

Terrified residents were evacuated from the surrounding streets and smoke could be seen from miles around.

No word yet on any deaths, but it could be sometime before fire crews can get inside to search for survivors. Residents said it appeared to start in an apartment on a lower floor and spread upward quickly.

George Clarke, the presenter of "Amazing Spaces", told Radio 5 Live he was covered in ash even though he was 100 meters (yards) from the scene.

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

"I think everyone felt really helpless because no-one could get to them".

Other reports by VgToday

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