London Firefighters Battle High-Rise Inferno, At Least 6 Fatalities Reported

London Firefighters Battle High-Rise Inferno, At Least 6 Fatalities Reported

"It's the most terrifying thing I've ever seen".

Lamrani said there were "endless numbers of people" trapped and "screaming for their lives".

Up to 250 firefighters, backed by 40 fire engines, fought for hours to try to bring the Grenfell Tower block blaze under control. Later on, the death toll was confirmed to be six and expected to rise.

"I can confirm six fatalities at this time but this figure is likely to rise during what will be a complex recovery operation over a number of days", said police Cmdr.

"People were starting to appear at the windows, frantically banging and screaming", she said.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known, but the blog post warned "only a catastrophic event" would expose the grave danger with which residents were obliged to live.

The building was recently upgraded at a cost of £8.6 million (NZ$15 million), with work to modernise the exterior finishing in May 2016.

Black smoke billowed high into the air for hours after the blaze broke out.

One resident, Mohammed, who escaped with his family, said they were up late because of it being Ramazan so they were able to escape the building quickly after smelling smoke.

In the remarkable interview, Terry described how riot shields were used to protect firefighters from falling debris as they entered the West London 24-storey tower block. However, an initial report claimed that there were a few lacking when it came to fire security and the residents have been complaining about it.

"About 10 seconds later my friend rang me and said: 'You need to get out of the flat.' He was so urgent I decided I had to leave".

Michael Paramasivan, a resident who lives on the seventh floor, managed to escape the building. Another woman who was standing by the building watching it burn said that a woman threw her baby out of a window.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton earlier told reporters: "This is an unprecedented incident".

London mayor Sadiq Khan said the fire was a "serious incident" and suggested there are "questions that have to be answered", after several residents reported not hearing any alarms.

Grenfell Tower was built in 1974 and contains 120 flats thought to be home to between 400 and 600 people. Burning debris cascaded from the blazing building.

He said he saw people waving flashlights from the top levels of the building and saw rescuers "doing an incredible job" trying to get people out.

One person, who did not want to be identified, told the British newspaper The Guardian, "I'm lucky to be alive - and lots of people have not got out of the building". He said it seemed as if the fire had been going off for at least 30 minutes before the building's fire alarms went off.

A local residents association had previously warned it was anxious about the risk of a serious fire in the block.

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