A massive fire blazed through a 27-storey apartment block in west London in the early hours of Wednesday, police and fire services said.
The fire brigade said 40 fire engines and 200 firefighters had been called to the blaze in Grenfell Tower, which has 120 flats, on the Lancaster West Estate. The fire has been burning for more than three hours.
London’s Metropolitan police service tweeted, “Residents continue to be evacuated from the tower block fire in North Kensington. A number of people being treated for a range of injuries.”
“Fire is from second to top floor of 27 storey building,” the fire service said on Twitter. The cause of the fire is not known at this stage, it added.
Some people were trapped in the fire, with residents desperately shouting for help from windows on upper floors as the fire spread, British media reported.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said a “major incident” had been declared.
Assistant commissioner Dan Daly on the London Fire Brigade’s Facebook page says it was a large and very serious fire.
He said firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle the fire.
A photograph posted by the fire service showed the side of the building engulfed in flames.
Police said in a statement they were called at 1:16am (0016 GMT) “to reports of a large fire at a block of flats in the Lancaster West Estate”.
They said at least two people were being treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
Flames and smoke rise as firefighters deal with a serious fire at Latimer Road in West London. (Reuters Photo)
The Metropolitan police said the A4 road was closed in both directions following the fire. “Please avoid the area to allow emergency services access to the scene,” it tweeted.
The apartment block was built in 1974.
London Ambulance ✔ @Ldn_Ambulance
Our latest statement on the #NorthKensington tower block fire. We have sent over 20 ambulance crews to the scene. More to follow.
9:26 AM – 14 Jun 2017
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George Clarke, the presenter of “Amazing Spaces,” told Radio 5 Live he was covered in ash even though he was 100 meters (yards) from the scene.
He said he saw people waving flashlights from the top level of the building and saw rescuers “doing an incredible job” trying to get people out.