Singer Adele pays visit to Grenfell Tower fire site

Seventeen people have been confirmed dead in the fire that engulfed a London tower block on Wednesday, emergency services said, adding that the toll was set to rise as there were no hopes of finding survivors.

London fire commissioner Dany Cotton said on Thursday morning that firefighters had done a brief search of all 24 floors but were not yet able to make a thorough search of the tower block. We need to know what happened, we need to have an explanation of this, we owe that to the families, to the people who have lost loved ones, friends and the homes in which they lived.

Fire officials received reports of the blaze just before 1 a.m. local time and flames could be seen more than 10 hours after London Fire Brigade officials arrived, the Associated Press reported. As soon as he realised what was happening, he quickly banged his neighbours' doors to wake them up.

Witnesses reported the entire building was on fire by around 2:00 am (0100 GMT).

Firefighters have extinguished the last of the flames at the 24-story and are now working to make the building safe so they can continue the search for more victims.

Questions have been raised about recently-installed cladding contributed to the quick spread of the fire.

They are packed with food, water, clothing and other essentials, as volunteers and neighbours work together to help the fire's victims.

Ms Cotton suggested it "will take weeks before this building is truly cleared and searched properly" as parts of it still need to be shored up and there is a risk of falling debris.

The apartment block lies within the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which, like most central boroughs, is one of sharp contrasts where affluence and poverty exist side by side.

"In due course when the scene is secure, when it is possible to identify the cause of this fire, there will be proper investigation and if there are any lessons to be learned, they will be and action will be taken", May said.

A baby reportedly survived a almost 10-story fall as residents scrambled to escape a massive blaze early Wednesday morning at a residential high-rise building in West London.

Relatives also told Italian media that the couple had assured their family in Italy in phone calls that they would be rescued, since suffocating smoke made it impossible to go down the stairs. They got in there, they were very committed.

"Questions on the sprinkler system, questions on the fire breaks, questions on why the cladding apparently burnt, questions on building control regulations, questions on the safety". Grenfell Tower was among the first blocks subject to the new rules.

"The potential for a fire to break out in the communal area on the walkway does not bear thinking about as residents would be trapped in the building with no way out".

By Thursday morning, there was no sign of life in or around the blackened husk.

Volunteers in Glasgow, 550 kilometres (350 miles) away sent a truck laden with nappies and other supplies.

  • Leroy Wright