Firefighters battling massive blaze in London high-rise

  • Firefighters battling massive blaze in London high-rise

Firefighters battling massive blaze in London high-rise

Witnesses said they saw trapped residents desperately shouting for help from windows on upper floors as flames enveloped the building.

Several people have died after a huge fire destroyed a tower block in west London, and those who have survived have lost their homes and possessions.

The brigade said a structural engineer had checked the building and determined it was not in danger of collapse and that rescue teams were safe to be inside. The whole building is engulfed in flames.

Authorities are trying to determine how many people are still trapped.

"Our initial priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries and ensure those in the most need are treated first and taken to hospital".

125 families live in the building, which also has a children's nursery.

Ambulances and fire trucks filled the streets around the building, which is located in a diverse, working class area of London.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she is deeply saddened by the loss of life in a fire at a London tower block which killed at least six people and injured more than 70 others.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told media that the cause of the fire is not known at this time. "Us members of the public were reassuring them, telling them we've done what we can and that we've phoned 999, but obviously the look on their face was death", Lamrani said. "We saw the flames enter his flat and (overcome) him".

Reuters was unable to verify the witness accounts.

Boutrig said her friend's brother, wife and children lived in the building and that her friend was waiting to find out if they were OK.

"Most Muslims now observing Ramadan will normally not go to be until about 2am maybe 2.30am", she said.

This video was taken from Natalie who is resident in a block across from Grenfell tower block said it took minutes for the fire to engulf the block and the sequence of pictures her video shows this clearly.

"I was in bed and I heard people shout fire, fire, I opened my door and loads of smoke came in".

In a statement, Andium said staff would be visiting Jersey's 11 high-rise blocks today to offer reassurance to residents.

Xinhua correspondent at the scene said he could smell the burning smell as the police copter was hovering above. Soon he saw the smoke and chaos. "And it was just spreading like wildfire". "It's been inherent and built into buildings and tower block designs since the 1950s".

An action group for the building's residents had complained on its blog of lax fire and safety standards at least eight times during the past three years, accusing the site's landlords, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization (KCTMO), of mismanagement and neglect.

The disaster occurred 10 days after a terror attack at London's Borough Market, and some locals said they initially feared the fire was also terror-related, though authorities discounted that possibility. There are 120 apartments in the building, which was constructed in 1974.

Councillor Nick Paget-Brown, the leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, told Sky News on Wednesday that a "major refurbishment" of the building had been completed a year ago.

The building's safety precautions have been called into question, with some saying cladding - building material usually attached directly to the frame of a building to act as an outer wall, which layers the building to provide insulation and protection from the elements - caused the fire to spread.

Once the fire has been put out and Britain has begun to count the terrible human cost of the tragedy, questions will undoubtedly arise about how such a fire started, and how it was able to spread so quickly, in 21st century Britain.

"I'm really not in any position to answer any questions about the structure", he said.

"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 it's been alleged, of tower blocks not being properly serviced and maintained", he told the BBC.

Michael Paramasivan, who was in his seventh floor flat with girlfriend Hannah West, 23, and her daughter Thea, five, said: "If we'd listened to them and stayed in the flat we'd have perished".