London fire death toll at 17; 'miracle' if anymore survivors

Investigators probing the Grenfell Tower fire will have to look at which of those recommendations were implemented in the building and which were not, said Jim Fitzpatrick, a former firefighter who now serves in the House of Commons.

The tower, a social housing block built in 1974 in North Kensington, an area of west London, contained 120 flats and was thought to have been home to about 600 people.

"We need to know what happened", a resolute May said.

The cause of the inferno, which left the tower block a charred, smoking shell, was not immediately known.

Firefighters searched for bodies today in a London tower block gutted by a blaze that has already left 12 dead, as questions grew over whether a recent refurbishment contributed to the fire.

Barwell had told him that he would consider the request in meeting but the promise was lost after May called for a snap general election in mid-April.

More than £1 million has been raised to help those affected as fire tore through the 24-storey building while volunteers and charities helped feed and shelter people who could not return to their homes overnight.

The death toll following a huge fire which engulfed and destroyed a large block of London flats is expected to rise.

May promised a "proper investigation" after the incident, saying that if any lessons are to be learned they will be, and "action will be taken". Some residents said no alarm had sounded.

The £8.7 million (9.9 million euro, $11 million) refurbishment of the block was completed previous year and included new windows and heating system. gathered that the fire was caused by a fridge explosion.

Firefighters traumatized by the devastation they witnessed in a high-rise apartment blaze that killed at least 17 people worked Thursday to make the building safe so they could continue the search for more victims.

All told, 78 people were rushed to nearby hospitals, officials said.

Construction firm Rydon, which completed the refurbishment of the tower in 2016, said the work "met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards". Residents had also warned of the site's restricted access for emergency vehicles.

Meanwhile, work is continuing to tackle "pockets of fire" in the block, with several residents reporting one man had said it started in his faulty fridge.

"Sadly, I can confirm that the number of people that have died is now 17", London police commander Stuart Cundy said.

"There are already disturbing reports emerging of the pipework in the building for a fire emergency being out of action", Ritson says.

Grenfell Tower is managed by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation on behalf of the local council.

The fire at Grenfell Tower on the Lancaster West Estate in Latimer Road was reported at 01:16 local time.

Smith said the Government was also tightening fire safety requirements for high rises in proposals put out for consultation in May, which would clarify the responsibilities between structural and fire engineers and tighten the verification methods for claddings.

  • Leroy Wright