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London fire: Kensington residents offer Grenfell Tower inhabitants place to stay after escaping the blaze

London residents urged to donate food, clothing and bedding to help local residents forced from their homes by the Grenfell Tower fire

Rachael Pells,Jon Sharman
Wednesday 14 June 2017 10:30 BST
London fire: Flames engulf Grenfell Tower in Kensington

West London residents are offering to open their homes to people displaced by the Grenfell Tower fire.

Posting on Facebook and Twitter, dozens of people living in the Kensington area and beyond posted messages of support, offering food, clothes and a place to stay.

Red Nose Day director and broadcaster Emma Freud, Writer Emily Reynolds and X-Factor finalist Gifty Louise joined local businesses and several other members of the public in pledging assistance.

Freud, who is married to the screenwriter and director Richard Curtis, and lives with her family in Kensington, said: "If anyone needs help and a roof, please let me know. We live very near and can look after you."

Gifty Louise said: "I will happily pay for an Uber for anyone caught in this horrible fire to come stay at mine... I just want to do something".

Tottenham MP David Lammy urged Londoners to donate food and other items to help those forced out of their homes on Wednesday morning.

Nearby St Clement's Church opened its doors to victims and is accepting supplies from donors - acting as a temporary evacuation and support centre for those affected.

Al Mannar, a local mosque, the Clement Attlee Estate Hall and Central Gurduara Sikh temple are also offering their services.

The chairman of Queens Park Rangers said he was enquiring as to whether their Shepherd's Bush stadium, on Loftus Road, could also be used as an evacuation centre.

Tony Fernandes tweeted: “Our community team will be mobilised. We will do whatever.”

A youth and children's charity based near the block of flats has also stepped in and offered help.

The Rugby Portobello Trust said they are “with many of the residents” and have asked people to “hold off on dropping anything to RPT until we can put together a list of what is needed”.

Former England rugby player Will Greenwood had urged the public to send emergency provisions to the trust, at 221 Walmer Road, London, W11 4EY.

The group also set up a Facebook event, urging people able to offer space in their homes to come forward.

The British Red Cross said its volunteers were also at the scene, with volunteers providing practical help and emotional support at a rest centre.

The huge fire, which engulfed the large block of flats, broke out in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Some 200 firefighters were still tackling the flames by mid-morning on Wednesday, and the London Ambulance Service said more than 50 people were being treated in hospital.

An unknown number of people have died, according to London Fire Brigade. Commissioner Dany Cotton said she could not confirm the exact figure due to the size and complexity of the building.

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