A massive fire raced through the 24-story high-rise apartment building overnight.
The breaking dawn revealed the blackened wreckage of the building, which was still burning more than 12 hours later. By 11 a.m. ET, the fire had been contained but the building continued to smolder. They were instead alerted about the blaze by fellow residents, some of them were Muslims who were awake early in the morning because of Ramadan and were among first to notice the fire, The Independent reported. There were reports that some residents threw themselves out of windows to escape the flames.
Twelve people died in the west London tower fire, and the number of deaths are expected to rise, police announced, as cited by BBC News.
"In my 29 years of being a fireman I have never, ever seen anything of this scale", Mr Cotton said.
The fire brigade said 40 fire engines and 200 firefighters had been called to the blaze in Grenfell Tower, which has 120 flats. "If it wasn't for that, there would have been more casualties", he said.
According to witness accounts, some residents were told to stay inside their apartments as the fire raged. "Those who escaped the blaze were the ones who both woke up and ignored that advice". "I'm shaking." Paramasivan said. "Five more minutes and that was us". After that (fire), I'm not so sure that was an accident.
A children's play area is filled with debris directly under Grenfell Tower on the Lancaster West Estate, a scene of a huge fire in west London, June 14, 2017.
Witnesses described people leaping from Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, and of trapped children banging on windows as the blaze took hold at around 1 a.m local time.
When contacted by Bernama, Rowena said that she could accommodate up to three people at her house near Marble Arch. "A gentleman ran forward and managed to catch the baby".
The Metropolitan Police confirmed in a statement that a number of people have been killed in the fire. Others are distributing water bottles to those waiting outside.
"We appreciate that many residents living in high rise blocks will be concerned and want to provide some reassurance that every housing block has a regular fire risk assessment and these are all up to date, with one due this month".
" 'We've complained to council, ' said Edward Daffarn, 55, who said nothing had been done to improve safety".
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was "truly devastated to see the horrific scenes of the major fire at Grenfell Tower in Kensington".
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