Breaking News!!: West London, England: Massive fire at the Grenfell Tower apartment building.
A massive fire occurred at the Grenfell Tower, a 24 story apartment building in West London, England at 1:00am (London Time) on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017.
** Picture from NBC News: **
At least 40 fire engines and 200 firefighters to battle the massive fire.
The massive fire has killed 30 people, injured 74 people, and reports that at least 58 people are reported missing.
Reports that people were seen throwing children and babies from windows.
Met Police’s Stuart Cundy said the death toll will rise, adding: “I don’t think any more survivors will be found.”
According to the London Ambulance Service, 30 patients where taken to 5 hospitals and more than 20 ambulances were dispatched to the scene.
“We wake up early sometimes anyway in the night, and one of my relatives saw the flames from the window and heard the people screaming. It just started to burn across from one side to the other, and we saw apartment after apartment getting lit up into flames,” resident Ousama Itani told NBC News.
Evacuated residents are saying that there were no fire alarms going off during the fire and that they could hear residents screaming for help.
** Pictures from London Fire Brigade: **
London Fire Brigade’s Steve Apter says firefighters have been to the top floor of the 24 story building, but were hampered by a fractured gas main.
London Fire Brigade’s Steve Apter added that the integrity of the tower is a significant issue and firefighters will be on scene for some time.
The cause of the massive fire in not yet been determined.
Residents of the apartment tower are very angry that lives were put in danger and warnings of the risk from fire were known before the massive fire broke out.
The tower block was built in 1974, as social housing by Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council, and building regulations have since changed.
Floor plans of the 24 story building show there was only one staircase on the residential floors.
The council still owns the building but it has been managed since the 1990s by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Association.
A major refurbishment of the estate, which cost £10 million, took 2 years to finish and was completed in 2016.
The work included installing insulated exterior cladding, including rain screen cladding and a curtain wall facade, and new windows.
The refurbishment was part of a wider £67 million development, funded by the council and carried out by Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Association and Rydon, a construction company.
Residents of the apartment tower had expressed concerns about the safety of the building “over several years”.
“I raised 19 complaints on behalf of the residents with the TMO. Lots of them were about the safety of the building and what would happen if there was a major fire,” said Judith Blakeman telling Sky News.
Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation issued a statement on the massive fire at the Grenfell Tower saying, “We wish to repeat our sincere and heartfelt condolences to all those who have been affected as a result of this devastating event at Grenfell Tower. We also wish to pay tribute to the bravery of the emergency services and to those members of the public who continue to selflessly do all they can to assist. The events of last night and early this morning are a tragedy. KCTMO, in conjunction with RBKC and others, is doing everything it can to assist the residents of Grenfell Tower and those affected by the tragedy. This will remain our immediate concern and focus. It is too early to speculate what caused the fire and contributed to its spread. We will co-operate fully with all the relevant authorities in order to ascertain the cause of this tragedy. We are aware that concerns have been raised historically by residents. We always take all concerns seriously and these will form part of our forthcoming investigations. While these investigations continue with our co-operation, our core priority at the moment is our residents.”
London mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement, “There will be a great many questions over the coming days as to the cause of this tragedy and I want to reassure Londoners that we will get all the answers.”
Rest centers for displaced residents have been opened at Rugby Portobello Trust (Walmer Road, W11 4EY), St. Clement Church (Treadgold Street, W11 4BP) and Westway Sports Center (Crowthorne Road, W10 6RP).
According to the London’s Metropolitan Police Service, an emergency number has been set up for anyone concerned for loved ones in the massive fire at the Grenfell Tower to please call Casualty Bureau at: 0800-0961-233.
** ZachNews sends our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the family and friends of the victims in the massive fire at the Grenfell Tower. **
** Pictures from NBC News: **