Wisma Putra: No Malaysians involved in London fire

Joe Walsh, 58, said he saw someone toss two children out a window on the fifth or sixth floor. There was no word on their fate. "The smoke alarms weren't going off but the way it spread so quickly from the fourth floor, all the way up to the 23rd floor was scary", she said.

"I saw people flying out of their balconies and windows".

A woman showed up in tears looking for her sister, who lived in the 24-story building that caught fire.

"I was shaking and crying", she said, still clutching the tea towel in her sooty hands. "Shocked, terrified for all the people living here, not surprised", he said.

Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly says on the London Fire Brigade's Facebook page that it's a large and very serious fire.

Then-housing minister Brandon Lewis told the Commons in 2014: "We believe that it is the responsibility of the fire industry, rather than the Government, to market fire sprinkler systems effectively and to encourage their wider installation".

Mayor Khan said the advice would be looked into.

"We tried to go back, but it was all black, so I had to come out of the building", Wahbi added.

Claims have also emerged online that residents at the tower block had been warned a year ago that their building had a risk of fire.

"The whole building is on fire (and) spreading fast", witness Goran Karimi told CNN.

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, which manages the council's housing stock, was required to fit self-closing devices to the front doors of all 78 flats in the 14-storey block and improve safety in the escape staircases. My gut instinct told me just to get the girls out.

The blaze trapped families in their homes as they were unable to escape the smoke and flames - some of those who could not get out were killed. "I consider this mass murder". The group says on its blog that it has raised concerns about testing and maintenance of firefighting equipment and blocked emergency access to the site.

In a blog on November 20, the activist group predicted that only "a catastrophic event" leading to "serious loss of life" would bring the outside scrutiny needed to make conditions safe for residents.

A residents' action group said its warnings about safety had fallen on "deaf ears".

The cause of the fire is not yet clear.

According to property website RightMove, the average rent in the building is around $2,500 a month.

There are 121 such buildings in Essex, according to the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS). Fire services around the world have to deal with blazes in high-rise blocks, so what lessons have been learned? Without extra air supply for the person rescued, the journey back out of the building would be extremely unsafe.

"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", Khan said in a statement. Before the renovation there were 120 apartments in the building.

Centres around the area have created drop off points for food, blankets, clothing, water for the victims. All 115 residents fled the building and there were no reported casualties. You've lied to the people of London'.

Associated Press writers Cara Rubinsky, Sylvia Hui and Ben Jary contributed.

And to stand helpless watching the fire and counting the floors, and thinking, 'Who lives on that floor?

  • Zachary Reyes