A HUGE fire engulfed a 27-storey block of flats in West London this morning, injuring at least 30 people and possibly trapping some residents who were sleeping inside the towering inferno.
Flumes of black and grey smoke were billowing high into the air over London hours after the blaze was sparked.
Emergency services were first alerted to the scene shortly before 01.00am.
London Fire Brigade released a statement shortly after 06.00am:
‘Forty fire engines and over 200 firefighters and officers have been called to a tower block fire on the Lancaster West estate in North Kensington this morning. The brigade has received multiple calls. The fire is from the second floor to the top floor of the 27-floor building.
Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly said: “Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle this fire. This is a large and very serious incident and we have deployed numerous resources and specialist appliances.”
The brigade was called at 0054 and is still at the scene. Fire crews from North Kensington, Kensington, Hammersmith and Paddington and from surrounding fire stations are in attendance. The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.’
‘We have taken 30 patients to five hospitals,’ London Ambulance Service said.
The English press reported some people were trapped in the fire, with residents desperately shouting for help from windows on upper floors as the fire spread.
A witness told Reuters that she feared not all the residents had escaped the fire. Some were evacuated in their pyjamas.
Residents related how they woke up to the smell of burning and rushed to escape through smoke-filled corridors.
More than 20 ambulance crews were at the scene. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said a ‘major incident’ had been declared. Police closed the A40, a major road leading out of West London, while some parts London’s underground train network were closed as a precaution.
Photo credit: Reuters