Firefighters were battling to rescue people trapped inside a 24-storey tower block in west London this morning hours after a huge fire broke out and swept through apartments.
The fire at Grenfell Tower on Latimer Road near Notting Hill started shortly before 1am on Wednesday.
Live London fire: fears of people trapped as major blaze engulfs tower block – latest
At least 200 firefighters and 40 engines on the scene of a huge fire at Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road, near Notting Hill, in West LondonFull story on Grenfell Tower fire
The London fire brigade said on Twitter it responded to the “major incident” on the Lancaster West Estate after multiple calls. Two hundred fire fighters were at the scene along with 40 engines and at least 20 ambulance crews.
In a statement on Facebook, 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 statement said the fire reached from the second storey of the building to the top and the cause of the blaze was not yet known. The London ambulance service said its crews included a hazardous area response team. The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, said in a brief statement on Twitter that it was a “major incident”.
A Guardian reporter on the scene said one man could be seen waving a blanket from the window and calling for help.
People from neighbouring estates were huddled outside in their pyjamas near the flaming building, some shouting “put your head out the window” or telling the man to shout his flat numbers so they could guide the fire services to him.
Fire officers were spraying his window with water to try and douse the flames.
“There was a woman with a child. I saw her waving maybe 30mins ago,” said a man who asked not to be named. “She said I’ve got a child … I saw them spraying her window.”
Hadil Alamily told the Guardian that she saw “someone jump on fire from the top floor”. She had seen the man flashing a light in an SOS pattern. “He was screaming help, help, help but no one helped. He dashed a mattress out of the window. He was literally on fire and jumped.”