6 dead in London highrise fire
- Author: Rogelio Becker Jun 15, 2017,
Jun 15, 2017, 1:17
"This is an unprecedented situation, with a major fire that has affected all floors of this 24 storey building, from the second floor up".
Around 200 firefighters and 20 fire trucks have been deployed to tackle the blaze as rescue workers try to evacuate the building in Lancaster West Estate in North Kensington.
"We're raising £1,000,000 to help the families of who have been devastated by a fire which has destroyed their homes and taken loved ones", the JustGiving page explains.
David Sibert, Fire Brigade Union fire safety expert, said: "What's happened in this fire today is like nothing that anyone in this country has seen ever. I can't imagine how many people must have died in there". "It had completely spread within half an hour".
It was not yet possible to confirm the cause of the fire, which spread throughout the building from lower floors, Fire brigade chief Cotton said.
Volunteers are calling for people to donate the essentials such as blankets, food, clothes and water to those left stranded by the fire.
In a blog post in November, it accused the Kensington and Chelsea Tenants' Management Organization (KCTMO), which manages the housing block on behalf of the local authority, of allowing "dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation".
"Help! Help!' and putting their hands on the window and asking to help them", Amina Sharif, a witness, told Reuters. Tiago Etienne, 17, said he spotted about three children between the ages of four and eight being dropped from an apartment around the 15th floor.
The massive fire, which swept through the building in west London early Wednesday, also sent more than 50 people to area hospitals.
Witnesses described a white, polystyrene-type material falling like snow from the building as it burned.
"Our specialist urban search and rescue crews and a structural engineer have checked the building and said that it is not in danger of collapsing and that it is safe for our crews to be in there".
She said steps would be taken to "check safety systems" at tower blocks across the borough. She and her grandson sat outside the building, helplessly watching those trapped on higher floors.
"It just kept burning and burning for hours and for hours there were still people at the top of the building screaming for help", Alison Evans, who lives nearby, told The New York Times.
He said he saw people waving flashlights from the top levels of the building and saw rescuers "doing an incredible job" trying to get people out.
Paul Munakr, who lives on the seventh floor, spoke of his escape. "There's people, like, throwing their kids out: 'Just save my children, just save my children!'", she said.
JustGiving has created a Grenfell page comprising of all the pages set up that people can donate to, to help support those affected.