An unknown number of people died yesterday when a high-rise building in west London caught fire early yesterday morning. Two hundred firefighters were battling the blaze at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington. The fire started on the second floor at around 1am and raced upwards. At least 50 people were taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.
Associated Press reported that people could be seen waving flashlights on the top floors of the building as fire fighters desperately tried to reach them. Residents from nearby buildings were evacuated.
By around 5am the building was almost entirely burned out.
Witnesses told The Guardian they had seen someone jump from one of the higher floors and that person had been on fire.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said questions would need to be answered about the fire. The blaze moved so quickly and fiercely up the building that netizens were questioning what kind of outer cladding the building had. The company that provided the cladding for Grenfell Tower, Harley Curtain Wall declared bankruptcy, according to an article in the Construction Enquirer that was written two years ago.
Anxious friends and neighbour waited outside the closed-off area around the building to find out what had happened to their loved ones.
“In my 29 years of being a fire fighter, I have never ever seen anything of this scale,” London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton told reporters
“I am very sad to confirm that there have been a number of fatalities, I cannot confirm the number at this time due to the size and complexity of this building.”