Huge fire engulfs 27-floor London tower block

Witnesses tell of screams and residents leaping from tower block

Fire engulfed a 24-story housing block in central London on Wednesday, killing at least six people and injuring dozens more in an inferno that trapped residents as they slept.

"I literally just heard screaming, I saw people jumping out of their windows, the building was literally on fire, the ambulances, the police".

David Collins, former chairman of the Grenfell Tower Residents' Association, said the building's management had failed to listen to residents' calls for improvements on fire safety. Cundy said it is too early to speculate the cause of the fire. Hassad says she believes one of her friend's daughters is in the hospital, but didn't know which one.

By 5 p.m., it was still not clear how many people were able to escape the fire and how many others were still missing. "I'm anxious about my building now", she said. Residents said the blaze appeared to start in an apartment on a lower floor and spread upward quickly.

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

"This is going to be a long and complex recovery operation and I do anticipate that the number of fatalities will sadly increase beyond those 12". At least 30 people were sent to hospitals. There were reports that some residents leapt out of windows to escape the flames.

"One of our neighbours, her sister, husband and children were in the building, it was their neighbours' flat that caught fire".

The tower block was recently refurbished at a cost of £8.7m, with work completed in May past year. "I'm shaking." Paramasivan said. You could see flashlights from the windows showing that people were still at home.

Local resident Ness Davis said a close friend of hers had been trapped inside in the building. "There are plenty of alarms in the building, but no alarm went off", he said. "I came out to my back garden and saw (the fire)".

"The whole one side of the building was on fire". She said the cause of the blaze was unknown. "There was heavy smoke in the hallway".

The streets around the tower have been sealed off and there is a chaos there with "people in night clothes, no shoes, crying, looking for family".

Neighbors streamed into the center with food. Volunteers handed out bottled water.

Located between the wealthy neighborhood of Notting Hill and the White City social housing estate, Grenfell Tower was home to 125 families, according to local councilor Robert Atkinson. It's just a short walk from Kensington Palace. Firefighters are battling a massive fire in an apartment high-rise in London.

In a post from November 2016 entitled, "KCTMO - Playing with fire!" the association said, "It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the risky living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders".

Managers of the building previously issued flawed formal advice to occupants to "remain in their flats in the event of a fire".

A website run by the "Grenfell Action Group" said residents of the tower had expressed concerns over the safety of the building, specifically pointing to fire risks.

Many were awake at the time the fire broke out having their early morning meal before beginning the daily fast for the holy month of Ramzan.

"All our warnings fell on deaf ears and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time", said the Grenfell Action Group on its blog site.

Muslims awake to prepare the sehri meal saves lives of hundreds of Grenfell Tower residents in London, rushing to alert them and provide help and free meals. Clement's church are in wheelchairs and have been brought from adjacent buildings that were evacuated by firefighters because of fears the fire might spread.

Local councilor Robert Atkinson told CNN that the renovation works had modernized the building. "This is a very, very, very severe fire".

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