Firefighters battling massive blaze in London high-rise

Joanna O'Connor, a local resident, told Sky News: "At about 2am I was woken up by screaming, sirens and helicopters".

A structural engineer has assessed the building and it has been deemed safe for fire crew to continue search and rescue efforts.

"If I'd fallen asleep, we would have all been dead". "We don't know where they are, whether they are still in or out".

There was no immediate word on the cause of the blaze, but angry residents said they had warned local authorities about fire issues at Grenfell Tower.

74 people have been taken to five hospitals across London and it is not known how many were inside the building.

Khalid Ahmed, a 20-year-old student who lived on the eighth floor, was playing video games when he smelled smoke.

"My neighbour is the one who knocked on our door".

"The fire just raged on and and all of us were praying that the building would not collapse as it is in the midst of a densely populated area". "Everyone started coughing and couldn't breathe". "The whole of his window was on fire", she added.

On Friday, Ahmed had noticed a white powdery substance on the floor in his corridor.

"It wasn't pleasant to hear and it's sad knowing you can't really do anything about it because you can't get up there to help".

Grenfell Tower is a 24-story high-rise apartment building located in West London. Fires happen for a multiplicity of reasons, from cigarettes to faulty electrical appliances, but precisely the point of the safety regulations is that they are meant to deal with fires no matter what their origin.

"This is because Grenfell was designed according to rigorous fire safety standards", KCTMO said in a newsletter to residents in July 2014.

"I thought there was a row going on", he told CNN.

"The mum swayed back and that was the last we saw of her". Witnesses reported hearing screams from people inside. "Whoever is at the top of (the tower), I pray to god they got out".

Initially, it was feared that the building, which appears to be gutted, could collapse.

Michael Paramaseevan, who lives on the seventh floor with his girlfriend and young daughter, said he ignored official advice to stay in your home.

"I saw people flying out of their balconies and windows". She says firefighters are still working and she can't say how many people may have died. Help! Help!' The fire brigade could only help downstairs.

People remain trapped in the building.

London mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: "Major incident declared at Grenfell Tower in Kensington" and urged people to follow London Fire Brigade on Twitter. "A neighbor's smoke alarm went off and another neighbor phoned and told me to get out", he said.

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Another witness, Abdullah Barraq Mohidin, said the fire began as a small one "but no one left their houses".

"I always open my windows and I heard some unusual noises outside", she said. "Three hours there shouting for help".

London Fire Brigade chief Dany Cotton said there had been "a number of fatalities" in what she called an "unprecedented" blaze.

Samira Lamrani said she saw a woman try to save the baby by dropping it from a window "on the ninth or 10th floor" to waiting members of the public below.

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