Ambulance service says 74 in hospital after London tower block fire

"The windows were slightly ajar, a woman was gesturing that she was about to throw her baby and if somebody could catch her baby". The building was to undergo specific improvements to fire safety and ventilation works.

Hundreds of police, paramedics and firefighters attended the scene.

Police commander Stuart Cundy said there were six confirmed fatalities, adding that the figure was likely to rise "during what will be a complex recovery operation over a number of days".

One local man, David Phippen, said he was woken by residents of Grenfell shouting for help, and saw the lights were still on in one side of the building while the other side was in flames.

She told reporters at the scene: "In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never ever seen anything of this scale".

"By the time that we got downstairs, the fire had gone all the way up and it was just about reaching our windows on the 17th floor".

The cause of the fire is yet unknown. One resident said the fire alarm did not go off. Witnesses said that they saw people jumping from the upper floors.

Smoke and flames rise from a building on fire in London, Wednesday, June 14, 2017.

Firefighters are battling a massive fire in an apartment high-rise in London. "Somebody did, a gentleman ran forward and managed to grab the baby", Lamrani told Britain's Press Association news agency.

Ruks Mamudu, 69, escaped from her first floor apartment wearing only her purple pajamas and bathrobe.

The blaze broke out around midnight, and parts of the building were still ablaze some nine hours later on Wednesday morning. "I walked out and saw the tower on fire", he said.

"I went to my back bedroom, I thought if something was on fire I would see, and I was just speechless, the guy next door was screaming at people to get out of the building".

Michael Paramaseevan, who lives on the seventh floor with his girlfriend and young daughter, said he ignored official advice to stay in your home.

"There was bits of building falling off all around me, I scalded my shin on a hot piece of metal that had fallen off the building", said Jodie Martin, who lives close to the building and sought to save people from the fire. It was fire up, up, up.

One witness told Sky they believed the fire was started by a faulty fridge.

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. "I'm shaking." Paramasivan said.

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.

Motspur Park is now a drop-off point for south Londoners to donate items to victims of a huge tower block fire.

This story has been corrected to show that the building has 24 floors, not 27.

"I'm lucky to be alive. I just hope they have got everyone out", he said.

"We've complained to council", said Edward Daffarn, 55, who said nothing had been done to improve safety.

"(If I were asleep), we would have all been dead - that's how bad it was", he said.

A blog post from Grenfell Action Group in November said "only a catastrophic event" would expose the concerns residents had.

According to witness accounts, some residents were told to stay inside their apartments as the fire raged.

  • Leroy Wright