Residents being evacuated from burning building

The fire brigade said 40 fire engines and 200 firefighters had been working on the blaze.

"Across London we have many, many tower blocks and what we can't have is 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", he said.

A massive fire has engulfed a high-rise apartment block in west London, with hundreds of firefighters battling flames from the 2nd floor to the top.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said there had been a "number of fatalities" but could not say how many due to the size and complexity of the building.

AN ILFORD man travelled to North Kensington this morning to help people hurt in the Grenfell Tower block blaze.

Fabio Bebber wrote on Twitter: "More screams for help as the fire spreads to another side of the building".

"It's clearly been a devastating fire", he said. The fire has totally destroyed the structure and the building is now on the brink of collapse.

Pictures shared on social media showed the extent of the fire, with huge flames and plumes of smoke rising into the air. "I can not confirm the number at this time due to the size and complexity of this building", she said adding that the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

A baby was caught by a member of the public after being dropped from Grenfell Tower as it was engulfed with flames, a witness said.

It was not clear if residents were trapped, but people at the scene spoke of being unable to reach friends and family who had been inside.

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

George Clarke, the presenter of Amazing Spaces, told Radio 5 Live: "I was in bed and heard "beep, beep, beep" and thought, "I'll get up and run downstairs as quickly as I could".

"I looked through the spy hole and I could see smoke everywhere and the neighbours are all there".

"At four in the morning, they then said the residents had to get themselves out because we need to help the emergency services, but for the last three hours they were told to stay in place".

"I could hear the people screaming "help me", and nothing could be done".

"My friends live on the fourth floor, someone knocked on their door they didn't know and they got out".

Paul Littlejohn said: "Windows were smashing and exploding, people jumping out and trying to climb out with rope made of out of bed sheets".

Khan had been called to respond after reports that people had been advised in advance to remain in their flats in the event of fire. A witness told Reuters she feared not all the residents had escaped the fire.

The building was refurbished recently at a cost of £8.6 million, with work completed in May a year ago.

Grenfell Tower was built in the 1970s and recently subject to a $10.9 million redevelopment, according to property firm Rydon.

Police closed the A40 truck road to allow easy access to the fire for emergency services, while London Underground said Hammersmith and city and circle lines had been closed.

  • Leroy Wright