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London fire as it happened: 12 residents confirmed dead and more fatalities expected after day of horror

Witnesses describe 'terrifying' scenes

London fire: Flames engulf Grenfell Tower in Kensington

A huge fire has engulfed a large block of flats in London, killing at least a dozen people.

Hundreds of firefighters were sent to 24-storey Grenfell Tower in north Kensington, as large plumes of smoke billowed above the capital after the blaze broke out in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Witnesses spoke of "terrifying" scenes, with some residents suggesting they heard no alarm go off when the fire began. At least 75 people are being treated at six hospitals across the capital.

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Actor and writer Tim Downie, who lives around 600 metres from the scene in Latimer Road, told the Press Association he feared the block could collapse.

He said: "It's horrendous. The whole building is engulfed in flames. It's gone. It's just a matter of time before this building collapses.

"It's the most terrifying thing I've ever seen. I just hope they have got everyone out.

"The first I knew was the noise of sirens, helicopters and shouting. I saw it engulfed in flames.

"People have been bringing water, clothes, anything they've got to help, out to the cordon.

"I have seen people coming out in their bedclothes - it's just very distressing."

Lizzie Dearden14 June 2017 07:37
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Jody Martin said he got to the scene just as the first fire engine was arriving at Grenfell Tower, in Latimer Road.

He told the BBC: "I grabbed an axe from the fire truck, it looked like there was a bit of confusion about what to do.

"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.

"I eventually gained entry on to the second floor, and once I got to the corridor I realised there was so much smoke there."

He added that given the thickness of the smoke, he would be surprised if anyone could have left the building without assistance.

"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'," he said.

Lizzie Dearden14 June 2017 07:37
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Nick Paget-Brown described the blaze as a "very, very severe fire".

He told Sky News: "Clearly it's an absolutely devastating fire.

"Several hundred would have been in there. It's a question of establishing how many people were in there at the time of the fire.

"I'm really not in any position to answer any questions about the structure.

"Clearly there's a lot more work to do to evacuate the building and to establish how safe it is."

Lizzie Dearden14 June 2017 07:38
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Fire investigator Dr Peter Mansi tells ITV's Good Morning Britain it is one of the worst fires he has seen in 30 years, saying: "I've not seen anything to this extent"

Lizzie Dearden14 June 2017 07:41
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Fabio Bebber wrote on Twitter: "More screams for help as the fire spreads to another side of the building.

"We can see how quick the fire spreads via the external panels. It's unbearable hearing someone screaming for their lives at £grenfelltower."

Lizzie Dearden14 June 2017 07:46
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There have been a "number of fatalities" at Grenfell Tower fire, London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton announces.

Lizzie Dearden14 June 2017 07:53
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One resident says he ran out of his flat to see sparks coming from the building and around 40 people waving from the windows #GrenfellTower

Samuel Osborne14 June 2017 08:23
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Grenfell Tower in north Kensington, a block of flats at least 24 storeys high, has been blazing since 12.54am this morning.

London Fire Brigade has confirmed a “number of fatalities”, however the number is not currently known owing to the “size and complexity” of the building.

Katie Forster14 June 2017 08:23
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London Ambulance Service said paramedics had taken more than 50 patients to five hospitals.

Katie Forster14 June 2017 08:25
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Police have issued a statement on the fire currently blazing in west London, saying it is "likely to take some time" to ascertain its cause. 

Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police said: “I can confirm there have been a number of fatalities and others receiving medical care. We will be soon making contact with next of kin.”The force said it was “likely to take some time before we are in a position to confirm the cause of the fire”.

Katie Forster14 June 2017 08:28