London tower fire: What do we know?

A deadly overnight fire raced through a 24-story apartment tower in London on Wednesday, killing at least six people and injuring 74 others, police said.

"This is an unprecedented incident", Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told reporters.

Firefighters rescue a man from the Grenfell Tower fire.

In a blog post titled "Playing with Fire" dated November 20, 2016, the group said it firmly believed "that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO (Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation)".

"The potential for a fire to break out in the communal area on the walkway does not bear thinking about as residents would be trapped in the building with no way out", it said.

He added that Catholic parishes in the area, which are all outside the immediate cordon, have offered assistance to those affected by the fire.

Singer and former X Factor judge Rita Ora said she used to play in the Grenfell Tower block, which was caught in a huge fire in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

More than 250 firefighters, 40 fire trucks, and 100 ambulance medics rushed to the apartment tower starting within six minutes of getting the call at 2:54 a.m., and the building was still on fire 10 hours later.

There have been calls for a major investigation amid questions about how the fire spread so rapidly through the block.

"These are very early stages and we do expect that figure to rise", London's Metropolitan Police said of the death toll.

"This is going to be a long and complex recovery operation and I do anticipate that the number of fatalities will sadly increase beyond those 12".

Eye-witnesses also said the cladding surrounding the exterior of the building, which was part of a major 13-million dollar refurbishment completed previous year, went up in flames and caused the fire to spread.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said the fire raised questions about the safety of high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower while the scale of the disaster could delay the announcement of a deal by Prime Minister Theresa May to stay in power. "If we had stayed in that flat, we would've perished", he said.

"It's the most terrifying thing I've ever seen". Clement's church are in wheelchairs and have been brought from adjacent buildings that were evacuated by firefighters because of fears the fire might spread. We will cooperate with the relevant authorities and emergency services and fully support their enquiries into the causes of this fire at the appropriate time. Cladding was added during the recent renovations.

Rydon, the firm that carried it out, said its work "met all required building control, fire regulation, and health and safety standards". It was a awful scene, you could hear people screaming for help. It all happened so fast but was really, really frightening.

"I grabbed my little girl and ran down the stairs", he said.

Muna Ali, 45, said: "The flames, I have never seen anything like it, it just reminded me of 9/11. It certainly wouldn't have woken you up". There was some kind of alarm but it was barely audible.

  • Leroy Wright