Firefighters battling massive blaze at London high-rise apartment building
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Jun 15, 2017,
Jun 15, 2017, 10:07
More than 200 firefighters, backed up by 40 fire engines, fought for hours to try to bring the Grenfell Tower block blaze - one of the most treacherous seen in London for a generation - under control.
London Fire Brigade said it had rescued 65 people as flames engulfed the block and had managed to reach all 24 floors, though a full search of the building had not been completed.
"We are dealing with a really serious fire that spread throughout the building", a spokesman for the fire brigade said.
Residents who escaped spoke of others trapped and screaming for help, with some holding children from windows and others jumping from upper floors.
Police commander Stuart Cundy gave the death toll but added the figure was likely to rise "during what will be a complex recovery operation over a number of days". "Also, the fire escape plan for the building told residents to stay in their apartments behind supposedly fire safe doors". Some were evacuated in their pajamas.
Metropolitan Police said 12 people had been killed with 50 others have been taken to five hospitals in west London.
A council has admitted it received complaints over the refurbishment of a west London tower block which has been ravaged by a deadly fire, after an action group said its warnings fell on "deaf ears" when it highlighted safety concerns.
Leading London fire and building inspector Geoff Wilkinson said that while having only one fire escape may have made the escape more hard for some residents, it still should have been adequate. Mayor Sadiq Khan said many questions must be answered about safety for the scores of other apartment blocks around the British capital.
Relevant to your professional network? I don't know what they spent £10m on, but the lifts in this block, and all the blocks around, cost £60, ooo to fix and they've still never replaced them. "A neighbor's smoke alarm went off and another neighbor phoned and told me to get out", Daffarn said.
Eyewitnesses described people trapped in the burning tower block, screaming for help and yelling for their children to be saved, according to BBC report.
Fire crews are continuing to tackle "pockets of fire" in the building with many people still unaccounted for.
"When you look at the footage, I don't think any firefighter expected it to develop in the rate it did.they would have been standing there in as much amazement as most members of the public have been doing".
"Our hearts and our prayers go out to the people of London", Pena said.
The Grenfell Action Group, a community organization formed to oppose a nearby redevelopment project, has been warning about the risk of fire at Grenfell Tower since 2013.
Built in 1974, Grenfell Tower was recently refurbished at a cost of £8.6 million, with work completed in May a year ago.
One person could be seen looking out of a section of the building, just below a burnt-out floor, with a piece of clothing dangling from the window frame.