A massive fire tore through London Grenfell Tower, claiming several lives as officials confirmed
A massive fire took place around 1 a.m., submerging a 24-story apartment building in west London in flames and panic. The fire officials confirmed that the blaze has already taken several lives, while others are still trapped.
Apparently, residents of the tower had expressed their concerns regarding the safety of the building in the past, putting accent especially on fire risks. However, fire chiefs said that it is still too early to speculate on the causes of the incident.
Latest developments report that the fire is under control; however, the tower is still surrounded by smoke. Moreover, at least 50 people have already been taken to five different hospitals in London, while there are strong fears that the building might collapse at any time. Meanwhile, a hazardous area response team were also dispatched.
40 fire engines and 200 firefighters are working to put out the blaze, while residents were said to be evacuating and others treated for various injuries. It is still not clear how many people are present in the building, but those who escaped reported horrific accounts of people being trapped in the tower. Some were reported to have jumped from the building, while others, including children, were banging on windows, screaming and crying for help.
Dany Cotton, Fire Brigade Commissioner, said that she has never seen anything like this. The cause of the fire is yet to be confirmed.
One resident of the building, said that he was watching TV as his family was sleeping. He suddenly smelled burning plastic, and soon saw the smoke and terrifying chaos.
“I grabbed my little girl and ran down the stairs. Half of the building was ablaze by the time we got out. And it was just spreading like wildfire. (If I were asleep), we would have all been dead — that’s how bad it was,” he said.
Former fire marshal Robert Rowe said that the fire appeared to have been “moving very quickly.” He added his suspicion that the fire sprinkles system may not have been working properly, or may had a malfunction at the time, based on how fast the fire spread through the building.
“What a fire sprinkler does, is stop it immediately. You won’t have a fire of (such) a magnitude,” Rowe said. “It would stop it right there.”
The incident appears to be the worst since the 2009 fire in south London.