Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Kids tossed from windows to escape London high-rise blaze

Kids tossed from windows to escape London high-rise blaze

Police said a "number of people are being treated for a range of injuries", including two for smoke inhalation, as pictures from the scene showed flames engulfing most of the block on the Lancaster West Estate, north Kensington. Police commander Stuart Cundy said Wednesday he did not anticipate further survivors.

Witnesses described people leaping from the building and of trapped children banging on windows as the fire broke out at around 1 a.m. local time, while people slept.

Before and during the refurbishment, the local Grenfell Action Group claimed that the block constituted a fire risk and residents warned that site access for emergency vehicles was "severely restricted".

Samira Lamrani said she saw a woman try to save a baby by dropping it from a window "on the ninth or 10th floor" to waiting members of the public below.

The London Fire Brigade said 45 fire engines and 200 firefighters were called to the scene.

Earlier she had said she has "never seen anything like it in my life".

Damian Collins, former head of the Grenfell Tower Residents' Association, said residents had complained to the local council over the handling of a major refurbishment of the building completed previous year.

"Buildings like the one today over 30 metres, when they are new, would require fire suppression installed".

It was refurbished recently at a cost of £8.6 million, with work completed in May a year ago.

Residents and campaigners in the London neighbourhood where a tower block went up in a giant blaze on Wednesday spoke angrily about longstanding safety concerns, saying they were ignored because the community was not rich.

The building is the Grenfell Tower in west London. "I know the councill will do everything to investigate", she said.

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Edward Daffarn, who lived on the 16th floor, said the building's fire alarm didn't ring.

"In due course when the scene is secure, when it is possible to identify the cause of this fire, there will be proper investigation and if there are any lessons to be learned, they will be and action will be taken", May said.

Firefighters rescued 65 people from the 24-story building that contained about 120 apartments.

Michael Paramasivan, who was in his seventh floor flat with girlfriend Hannah West, 23, and her daughter Thea, five, said: "If we'd listened to them and stayed in the flat we'd have perished".

The blaze at Lakanal House in Camberwell, south-east London, killed six people, with an inquest finding it spread because botched renovations compromised fire stopping between the flats. "And the fire alarm that was going off, that wouldn't have woken no one up".

More than 70 people are in hospital - 20 of them in a critical condition.

The residents group published an extract from a 2012 fire risk assessment which found that fire extinguishers in the basement boiler room, lift motor room and ground floor electrical room were more than 12 months out of test date. Help! Help!' The fire brigade could only help downstairs.

He told the Press Association: "About 12 floors up I saw three children waving from a window and then there was just an explosion and they disappeared". We will cooperate fully with all the relevant authorities in order to ascertain the cause of this tragedy.

"I looked through the spy hole and I could see smoke everywhere and the neighbours are all there".

Among the areas the FPA wanted reviewed, Glocking said, was a lack of compulsion for external insulation underneath cladding on tower blocks to be fire resistant, and tighter regulations over timber-framed buildings, now the most common method for social housing. "This was just done to tart it up and match the nearby building".

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