40 fire tenders tackle massive fire at Grenfell Tower in London

Xavier Trudeau
Juin 15, 2017

Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature following after a huge blaze ripped through a 24-story residential tower block in west London. I can not confirm the number at this time due to the size and complexity of this building.

"We've complained to council", said Edward Daffarn, 55, who said nothing had been done to improve safety.

Close to Notting Hill, the tower block is around a five minute walk from the Latimer Road Underground station and near the Westfield shopping center in the west London suburbs.

It was not yet possible to confirm the cause of the fire, which spread throughout the building from lower floors, London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton said. One resident said the fire alarm did not go off - bolstering the arguments of a community group, which only months ago had warned of a potential catastrophe at the subsidized housing block. 'I consider this mass murder'. It added the cause of the massive fire is not known at this stage.

Residents claimed the fire was spreading on the exterior of the tower, which had been covered in cladding in a major refurbishment completed a year ago.

A witness told Reuters she feared not all the residents had escaped the fire.

Fabio Bebber wrote on Twitter: "More screams for help as the fire spreads to another side of the building. Loads of people haven't got out of the building", he said.

Nassima Boutrig, who lives opposite the building, said she was awakened by sirens and smoke so thick that it filled her home as well.

"What a fire sprinkler does, is stop it immediately, you won't have a fire of an magnitude", Rowe said. The group has raised concerns about testing and maintenance of firefighting equipment and blocked emergency access to the site.

"We rescued a large number of people from inside the building very early on", she said, adding that she had spoken to firefighters who had reached the 19th and 20th floors.

Wahabi's husband Salah Chebiouni, 45, said he was in the kitchen when "I saw fire outside my window".

In a post from January 2016, the group said: "It has been very clear for some time to the residents of Grenfell Tower that those responsible for ensuring the smooth running of Lancaster West Estate are failing in their duty of care and wilfully allowing our residential amenity to decline in unacceptable ways".

Higgins has, in a statement, expressed his profound sympathy to all those affected by the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in London.

Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor, tweeted: "Major incident declared at Grenfell Tower in Kensington".

"These questions are really important questions that need to be answered", Khan told BBC Radio.

Angus Law, from the Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at Edinburgh University, said the blaze seemingly had similarities with other recent fires worldwide.

Prime Minister Theresa May's Downing Street office said she was "deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life" in the fire.

Fire crews from north Kensington, Kensington, Hammersmith and Paddington and surrounding stations were at the scene with the fire burning from the second to the top floor.

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