London Firefighters Battle High-Rise Inferno; At Least 6 Fatalities Reported

The area is being evacuated and the people who have escaped from the horrific scenes can not believe they are still alive to talk about what happened.

"Police officers, the London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance Service are now at the scene", Metropolitan Police said in a statement. "These are very early stages and we do expect that figure to rise".

London Ambulance Service medics specially trained in life-saving medical care in hazardous environments have also been sent to the fire.

By 6:30am the London Ambulance Service confirmed 30 patients had been taken to five hospitals.

Police are pushing people back from the area for fear the building will collapse as debris has started to fall from the tower.

The Metropolitan Police Casualty Bureau is open for anyone concerned about loved ones affected. It also made the tasks of firefighters trying to control the blaze more risky.

Residents related how they woke up to the smell of burning and rushed to escape through smoke-filled corridors.

Flames tore up the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in north Kensington, leaving people trapped on upper floors, including children, some holding babies from windows and others jumping from their flats.

The London Fire Brigade received the first reports of the fire at 12:54 a.m. and the first engines arrived within six minutes, Cotton said.

"Extensive cordons remain in place and a number of nearby residents have been evacuated as a precaution".

Witnesses said the fire spread rapidly up the building, with some suggesting it was fuelled by gas.

"Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle this fire", Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly said in a statement, adding that the cause of was not known.

The Grenfell Action Group, a community organization, says it has repeatedly warned about the risk of fire at the building since 2013.

"Thankfully residents didn't take that advice but fled. these are some of the questions that have to be answered", Mayor Khan said, according to the newspaper.

One person, who did not want to be identified, told the British newspaper The Guardian, "I'm lucky to be alive - and lots of people have not got out of the building".

The tower is at least 24 storeys high and contains 120 apartments.

Transport for London said there was no service between Hammersmith and Edgware Road on the Circle and Hammersmith and City lines, while the police said the A40 was closed in both directions, owing to the fire.

The apartment block was built in 1974, but had recently undergone a major refurbishment, including a new heating and hot water system.

He said it was likely to be some time before police are able to identify the victims, adding that it was too early to speculate on the cause of the fire.

Cotton, the fire commissioner, said it was too soon to determine the cause of the fire, which apparently began on the fourth floor, but a community organization called the Grenfell Action Group had been warning about severe fire hazards since 2013, including after an $11 million update that was completed previous year.

  • Leroy Wright