London fire: What do we know about the inferno at Grenfell Tower?

Police said in a statement they were called at 1:16am (0016 GMT) "to reports of a large fire at a block of flats in the Lancaster West Estate".

12 people have been confirmed dead in the Grenfell Tower fire in London's Kensington.

The cladding then seems to have helped the fire spread around the building, allowing it to destroy nearly the entirety of the structure and kill people inside.

Neighbors of the London apartment building torched in an inferno have sprung into action to help survivors of the fire, donating clothes, food and water and offering shelter.

Forty casualties have been discharged from the six London hospitals treating them, said state-run National Health Service (NHS). And just to reiterate that point, the incident continues to be a challenging incident for us.

'We will co-operate with the relevant authorities and emergency services and fully support their inquiries into the causes of this fire at the appropriate time'.

More than 200 firefighters worked through the night and were still finding pockets of fire inside later in the day.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told reporters: "This is an unprecedented incident". "In my 29 years of being a firefighter I have never, ever seen anything of this scale".

Eyewitnesses described people trapped in the burning tower, screaming for help and yelling for their children to be saved.

He got up to have a cigarette and discovered the fire by hearing a woman shout through an open window.

A spokesperson said: "We would like to reassure local residents that we have established processes in place for ensuring the safety of both residential blocks and commercial premises".

Prime Minister Theresa May was said to be "deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life" and newly appointed police and fire minister Nick Hurd will chair a meeting of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat to co-ordinate the response.

David Collins, a former chairman of the Grenfell Tower residents' association, said he was shocked but not surprised by the fire.

The death toll was expected to rise as firefighters went floor by floor, dousing the remaining flames and searching for survivors and victims in the high-rise.

"If we had stayed in that flat, we wouldve perished". I think he's OK.I think he might have just had some broken bones and bruises. "I don't know how they were breathing". "I pray particularly for those who have suffered injury, those who have died, and all the residents who have are left without a home today, and the entire community that has been affected", he said in a statement.

Crews rescued 65 people, said Steve Apter, the fire brigade's director of safety and assurance.

He said not all insulation used in the process is the more expensive non-flammable type.

"The whole landing was thick with smoke".

Ruks Mamudu, 69, escaped from her first floor apartment wearing only her purple pajamas and bathrobe.

Refurbishment of the housing block had been completed previous year and the Fire Brigades Union said something had gone badly wrong with fire prevention procedures at the building.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said many questions must be answered about safety for the scores of other apartment blocks around the British capital. The housing block, built in 1974, was recently upgraded at a cost of 8.6 million pounds ($11 million), with work finishing in May 2016, according to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Residents of Grenfell Tower are said to have expressed concern over fire safety of the building.

The Kensington and Chelsea foundation, which raises money for schools, charities and communities, was one of many organisations who published a donation page on their website. Stuart Cundy said that "we believe this number will sadly increase".

  • Zachary Reyes