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London fire: Lives claimed at Grenfell Tower

14 June 2017

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton called it an "unprecedented incident", adding that a "number of fatalities" had been confirmed. London Metropolitan Police, in a statement said, "A number of people are being treated for a range of injuries".

A website run by the "Grenfell Action Group" said residents of the tower had expressed concerns over the safety of the building, specifically pointing to fire risks.

However, local residents' organisation Grenfell Action Group has been consistently critical of the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), which it claims has not done enough to reduce fire risk in the building.

But several residents reported one man had said it started in his faulty fridge.

The refurbishment cost £8.7 million (9.9 million euros, $11 million) and was completed in May 2016.

The exterior of the 1970s-built tower was modernised with cladding and replacement windows, while additional homes were added using vacant space in the building.

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

Witnesses said they saw trapped residents desperately shouting for help from windows on upper floors as flames enveloped the building. If you do not get through immediately please do try again. Soon after, people nearby reported seeing smoke and flames shooting from its windows.

An unknown number of people have been killed and dozens injured in Wednesday?s heavy fire that engulfed a tower block in west London, which firefighters are still trying to douse, reports the Guardian. About 600 people were believed to have been inside the tower's 120 apartment units when the blaze ripped through the building.

One witness described hearing a neighbour screaming for help before apparently jumping out as flames engulfed his seventh-storey flat. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

People in the neighborhood offered their houses to those in need while others helped organize a makeshift aid center at a local community center. Thirty others have been taken to five hospitals. We urge anyone who lived in the block to make themselves known at that centre so that we know they are safe.

Other survivors spoke of confusion and conflicting advice given to residents, many of whom had been advised in advance not to leave their apartments in the event of a fire.

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"If we had stayed in that flat, we would've perished".

Crews from North Kensington, Kensington, Hammersmith and Paddington were called at 12.54am and are still on the scene.

Were there warnings something like this could happen?

The tower block - which was refurbished internally and externally a year ago - is situated on the Lancaster West Estate, between Latimer Road Underground station and Westfield's White City shopping centre. It was constructed in 1974. It was upgraded at a cost of £8.6 million with work finishing in May a year ago. The screaming of people, it's distressing to hear people calling out for help and you can't do anything.

"If you do have any concerns for anybody connected to this bad event, please call the Casualty Bureau on 0800 0961 233".

The area around the tower has been closed off and around 200 firefighters are at the scene.

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It was fire up, up, up. "You could see the fire going into their houses and engulfing the last room that they were in". Residents of the block had previously voiced concerns about piles of rubbish in communal areas presenting a fire risk.

London fire: Lives claimed at Grenfell Tower