Six people dead in mass blaze at London tower block

He said it was likely to be some time before police are able to identify the victims, adding that it was too early to speculate on the cause of the fire. "Many others are receiving medical care", London Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said.

Cotton, the fire commissioner, said it was too soon to determine the cause of the fire, which apparently began on the fourth floor, but a community organization called the Grenfell Action Group had been warning about severe fire hazards since 2013, including after an $11 million update that was completed a year ago.

The brigade says "it is safe for our crews to be in there".

Police have not revealed the cause of the fire but witnesses told news.com.au it started when a fridge exploded on the first floor.

Flames were seen pouring out of the windows and licking up the side of the 24-story Grenfell Tower in London's North Kensington throughout the night, as firefighters battled the blaze.

London mayor Sadiq Khan also declared it a "major incident". The BBC reported that "several hundred" residents could have been at home when the fire started just after midnight.

The London Mayor said "questions need to be answered as soon as possible". "I watched one person falling out, I watched another woman holding her baby out in the window. hearing screams".

"There are so many people who live there who've been displaced, it's shocking". At least six people have died from the fire, which was not yet fully under control almost 12 hours after it started. "As I was going down the stairs, there were firefighters, truly wonderful firefighters that were actually going upstairs, to the fire, trying to get as many people out of the building as possible", he told the BBC. "There was heavy smoke in the hallway".

When pressed for an explanation, he said only "my view is the building was engulfed in flames and something has gone drastically wrong".

A residents' action group said its warnings about safety had fallen on "deaf ears". The group has raised concerns about testing and maintenance of firefighting equipment and about blocked emergency access to the site in recent years.

No fewer than 50 people were injured and some residents were trapped inside the towering inferno. "I can not confirm the number at this time", Dany Cotton said as early reports indicated no fewer than six were killed.

"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". "I can not confirm the number at this time", he said.

Cotton told reporters she'd never seen anything like the fire in her almost 30 years as a firefighter.

"We rescued large numbers of people", she said.

The blaze at Grenfell Tower was reported around 1 a.m. (8 p.m. ET Tuesday).

Samira Lamrani, 38, who lives on nearby Hurstway Walk, said: "When I arrived on the scene he (the resident) was amongst the people that were standing there". Officials did not have any information to give her.

Ambulances and fire trucks filled the streets around the building, which is located in a diverse, working class area of London. I could hear them screaming for their lives.

Mike Penning, a member of British Parliament who is a former firefighter, said "cladding was clearly spreading the fire".

Firefighters continued to make rescues many hours after the blaze, which was put out around dawn. It is not clear if people are trapped inside. Even then, a billowing cloud of smoke could be seen for miles.

"It is important to remember that fires of this type are extremely rare and that most fires do not spread further than one or two rooms". An updated figure was not available.

"I saw people up on the second from top floor".

The cause of the fire is not yet known. There were also reports saying that there are still tenants trapped in the burning building.

Forty fire engines and 200 firefighters and officers have been called to the scene.

Fire rips through the Grenfell Tower in London.

Smoke rises from Grenfell Tower in west London.

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