Horrific Fire Ravages London Apartment Block, Kills At Least 12

Fire engulfed a 24-storey housing block in central London in the early hours on Wednesday, killing at least fourteen people and injuring at least 50 others in an inferno that trapped residents as they slept.

According to The Independent, some residents of the 24-story Grenfell Tower were awake early in the morning because of the last supper of Ramadan, and they may have been some of the first to notice the fire as many said they didn't hear any alarms.

"I am very sad to confirm that there have been a number of fatalities, I can not confirm the number at this time due to the size and complexity of this building".

Police and fire services attempted to evacuate the concrete block and said "a number of people are being treated for a range of injuries", including at least two for smoke inhalation.

Residents who escaped complained there had been no fire alarm, with many relying on neighbours to wake them as the blaze spread, and said official advice in the event of a fire had been to stay inside.

Some residents screamed for help from behind upper-floor windows and others tried to throw children to safety as flames raced through the Grenfell block of about 120 apartments just before 1 a.m.

That is because the area between the new exterior panel and the existing wall - which is usually filled with insulating material - becomes a potential channel for flames to rise up along the sides of the building. "When the incident happened, they didn't have a clue the fire would engulf the whole building", said the eyewitness Safiyah Wallden, as quoted by TOI. It's unclear what exactly caused the 27-story building to catch fire, but the investigation is likely to focus on the tower's infrastructure and whether or not its outer paneling caused the fire to spread faster.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said: "There will be a great many questions over the coming days as to the cause of this tragedy and I want to reassure Londoners that we will get all the answers".

Previous year a multi-million pound refurbishment of the block was completed which included work to modernise the tower with cladding and replacement windows.

"He obviously couldn't find an escape route and he couldn't leave", she said. "I sat there watching my house burn down and watching people cry for help who couldn't come down", she said. An unconfirmed report claims a man stepped out of the crowd below and caught a baby tossed from "the ninth or 10th floor". It said the cause of the blaze would be "fully investigated".

'But so far the evidence we have got is very disturbing, ' Senator Xenophon said. It was built in 1974 and owned by the local authority, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

"All our warnings fell on deaf ears and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time", the group said.

However, no action, say residents, was initiated in this regard.

  • Leroy Wright