London mayor: Questions surround apartment fire

He said that there were around 50 people helping out at the Latymer Christian Centre.

Harrowing stories are emerging of people trapped inside their home, waving torches to try and attract attention, leaping from windows and making home-made ladders and parachutes from whatever they could lay their hands on.

"We could do nothing and we could see the stuff on the side was falling off, collapsing".

Joanna O'Connor, a local resident, told Sky News: "At about 2am I was woken up by screaming, sirens and helicopters. And I have seen people jump".

Other witnesses said they saw residents holding their children out of windows. There weren't no warning, there weren't no proper noise to let us know what was happening.

A police officer helps to evacuate a local resident from close to the scene of a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain.

The blaze started around 1 a.m. London time, and smoke was still pouring from the building hours later.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

The block had recently undergone an 8.7 million pound ($11.08 million) refurbishment of the exterior, which included new external cladding and replacement windows.

Fumes of black and grey smoke were billowing high into the air over London hours after the blaze was sparked. All 115 residents fled the building and there were no reported casualties.

The sight of a 24-storey tower block in west London engulfed in flames has shocked the UK.

Paul Munakr, who lives on the seventh floor, spoke of his escape.

At least six people are dead and dozens of others have been left injured. "Get down the stairs" they're shouting. Some residents initially feared the fire was also terror-related, although authorities discounted that possibility.

Those are the chilling words of an eyewitness who watched in horror as a woman tossed her baby out the window of the Grenfell Tower inferno on Wednesday morning.

Tamara, one witness, told the BBC: "There's people, like, throwing their kids out: 'Just save my children, just save my children!'".

She added: "I could see people from all angles, banging and screaming for help".

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 past year.

"It seems the containment of a fire in such a major building is a concern".

Mneimneh said a a woman was standing beside him speaking on the phone to people trapped inside the block who were telling her they couldn't come down because there was fire outside their door.

Burning debris cascaded from the blazing building.

Hanan Wahabi, 39, said she escaped with her husband, 16-year-old son, and eight-year-old daughter, but feared for her brother and his family who live on the 21st floor.

"What we need to get people to take notice is a huge fire in a tower block" they say.

'The building regulations relating to the fire safety were last reviewed in 2006, ' Mr King said. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said a "major incident" had been declared.

"These questions are really important questions that need to be answered", Khan told BBC Radio. "We can't have a situation where people's safety is put at risk because of bad advice being given or if it is the case, as has been alleged, of tower blocks not being properly serviced or maintained".

The local council of Kensington and Chelsea, which owns the block, said it was focusing on supporting the rescue and relief operation. The fire brigade could only help downstairs.

  • Leroy Wright