UPDATE: 14th June, 2017, 5:55 (AM GMT+1) – Multiple eyewitnesses have reported seeing people jumping from high windows. “My nephew was in there, my cousin was in there,” Ayyub Asif, whose family lives inside Grenfell Tower, said to CNN. “I saw people jumping out the window, it’s crazy.”
Jody Martin told The Guardian that he grabbed an axe from a nearby fire truck and entered the building. “I ran around the building looking for a fire escape and couldn’t see any noticeable fire escapes around the building. A lot of debris falling down,” he said. “I watched one person falling out, I watched another woman holding her baby out the window … hearing screams, I was yelling everyone to get down and they were saying, ‘We can’t leave our apartments, the smoke is too bad on the corridors.’”
A massive blaze has engulfed Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road, near Notting Hill, in West London. At the moment the cause of the fire is unknown. Firefighters struggle to control the flames, but eyewitnesses have report seeing trapped residents jumping from windows.
Sky News senior correspondent Ashish Joshi was on the scene. “The building is pretty much burned down, there’s a tiny bit left that’s not on fire, but every single window is gutted,” he said. “There’s nothing left of it. The acrid smell is horrendous.”
— AssedBaig (@AssedBaig) June 14, 2017
After more than four hours the blaze continued to burn.
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) June 14, 2017
The London Ambulance Service sent out the following message via Twitter,
— London Ambulance (@Ldn_Ambulance) June 14, 2017
As of 4:30 AM local time the building was completely engulfed in flame.
— Tim Downie (@TimDownie1) June 14, 2017
As the debris continues to fall, buildings around Grenfell Tower have been to evacuate. People inside the adjacent structures have begun posting videos of the evacuation on social media.
— Jonathan Swain (@SwainITV) June 14, 2017
UPDATE: 14th June, 2017, 5:05 (AM GMT+1) – People are believed to be still trapped inside the burning tower. Alice Ross reported the following account to The Guardian:
People can be seen at the windows, including one man waving a blanket from the window. People from neighbouring estates are huddled outside in their pyjamas near the flaming building, some shouting “put your head out the window” or calling the man with the blanket to shout his flat numbers so they can guide the fire services to him. Fire officers are spraying his window with water to try and douse the flames.
There’s a smell of acrid smoke and flaming debris is spiralling from the building. There’s the sound of breaking glass and dull pops.
“There was a woman with a child. I saw her waving maybe 30mins ago,” said a man who asked not to be named. “She said I’ve got a child … I saw them spraying her window.”
Hadil Alamily said in the past hour she saw “someone jump on fire from the top floor”. She had seen him flashing a light in an SOS pattern.
“He was screaming help, help, help but no one helped. He dashed a mattress out of the window. He was literally on fire and jumped.”
Neighbors were seen shouting at a man standing in a window of the burning tower.
Neighbours shouting to a man still visible in a window at Grenfell Tower pic.twitter.com/oUh7HgD08i
— Alice Ross (@aliceross_) June 14, 2017
The fire broke out around 1:00 AM in the 24-story apartment building housing 120 flats. More than 200 firefighters and 40 engines have spent more than 4 hours fighting the blaze. Nearby streets have been blocked off and adjacent buildings are being evacuated. Residents are urged to cover their mouths with a wet towel and escape as quickly as possible. As of now the cause of the fire is still unknown.
London mayor Sadiq Khan has declared the blaze a “major incident” and encouraged everyone to check the London Fire Brigade on Twitter for updates,
Major incident declared at Grenfell Tower in Kensington. 40 fire engines & 200 firefighters at the scene – follow @LondonFire for updates.
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) June 14, 2017