Residents jumping from building with more trapped inside block that contains 120 homes, as 40 fire engines and more than 200 firefighters fighting to control blaze
FIREFIGHTERS are battling an inferno which has engulfed a block of flats in Ladbroke Grove, West London.
Some residents are trapped inside the 24-storey tower, with children among residents desperately shouting for help from windows on upper floors with neighbouring flats ablaze.
One witness told BBC Radio London that there were likely to be “tens if not hundreds” of casualties, with some residents jumping from windows for safety in scenes “reminiscent of 9/11”.
One woman with two young children was seen shouting for help from an eleventh floor window.
Dana Ali, 30, said that her parents Maria, 51, and Khalid, 61 called to say they were trapped in their flat on the tenth floor of the building.
“They said they’re in their living room, they’re closing all the doors, they can’t get out. They opened the main door and saw black smoke,” she said.
“They couldn’t see anything so they closed the door back. And now I’m trying to call and they’re not answering.”
The building has been gutted by fire and is engulfed in “acrid” black smoke.
London Fire Brigade 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.”
Police have confirmed that “a number of people” have been treated for “a range of injuries.”
Police are pushing people back from the area for fear the building will collapse as flaming debris falls from the tower.
The fire is “all the way through” the building according to one resident identified as Sophia who called BBC Radio London, and firefighters were “losing the battle” against the blaze.
Another local, identified as Jody, told the BBC he had seen people “jumping out of windows” to escape the blaze.
George Clarke, a BBC presenter who lives in the building, told Radio 5 Live he was “getting covered in ash” as he fled the fire.
“I’m 100 metres away and I’m absolutely covered in ash,” he continued. “It’s so heartbreaking, I’ve seen someone flashing their torches at the top level and they obviously can’t get out.”
Fire has gutted significant parts of the residential building
Khalid Sarang, 23, lives in neighbouring block and reported it was like “hell on earth”.
“I have friends who live on the top floor and I can’t get them on the phone.
“There is a family of four trapped up there now screaming.
“The first thing I heard were the screams and I came running out.
“It’s like hell on earth.”
An eyewitness said: “There are about 15 fire engines but they are struggling to get in and out because there is just one narrow road in and one narrow road out.”
At least 200 firefighters were battling the fire, with 40 engines in attendance.
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 fire started at the top of the 24 storey building, with police confirming emergency services were first called at 1.16am.
The block, which is located beside Kensington Aldridge Academy school contains 120 homes. It was built in 1974.
The tower was recently renovated, and includes a new under 3s Nursery.
It is located next to the A40 Westway into London, which emergency services have now closed in both directions.
Police are warning onlookers to move away from the burning building for fear it may collapse
Terrified residents were evacuated from the surrounding streets and smoke could be seen from miles around.
Police have put up a cordon as firefighters battle to bring the blaze under control.
Met Police confirmed at least two people have been treated for smoke inhalation but are yet to confirm any more casualties.
Before the blaze … The tower block contains 120 homes over 24 floors
A spokesman added: “Police were called at 1.16am on Wednesday, 14 June to reports of a large fire at a block of flats in the Lancaster West Estate, W11.
“Officers, the London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance Service are currently at the scene.
“An evacuation process is underway.
“At this stage we are aware of two people being treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
“Cordons are in place and it is advised that the estate and surrounding area is avoided.”