After midnight struck on Tuesday, the neighborhood of Lancaster West Estate were woken by the screams of residents and flashes of light from the Grenfell Tower. A fire had engulfed the top floors of the 24-storey building and the residents, unable to come out, were screaming for help and trying to get out through the windows. The fire-engines and ambulances were prompt to reach the scene and the firefighters rescued hundreds of residents from the blazing tower that had a total 120 apartments in it.

Six casualties known so far

According to the Metropolitan police, there are six casualties so far and the numbers might increase as it is presumed that several victims are still trapped inside the tower.

50 people are being treated in hospitals and most of the survivors are in a state of shock from the incident.

The Guardian reported, Residents could be seen waving and screaming from their windows, as firefighters wearing breathing apparatus fought to rescue them. There were unconfirmed reports from a number of witnesses who spoke of seeing residents jump from their homes as they were engulfed by flames."

It was the middle of the night when most of the residents were in deep sleep. The lucky survivors woke up hearing loud bangs on their doors from neighbors who alerted them and they fought through thick black smoke to get out of the building. Most of the residents on the upper floors could not take the stairs as they were totally smothered in a choking smoke .

The whole tower was on fire and there were high chances that the tower would collapse.

Police are taking extra caution and not allowing the general public near the location. The surrounding roads are also closed for safety reasons. The plumes of smoke could be seen from miles away and the fire crew termed it as a “large and very serious incident”.

More than 250 firefighters and one hundred amblances converged on the spot to serve the emergency. A toll-free emergency number has been set up on 0800 0961 233 to get information about the victims.

Reason behind the fire

The exact reason behind the fire has not yet been identified till but the Police will soon run an investigation to find out the cause of this incident.

The Fire Brigade Union suspects that there must be something really wrong with the fire prevention measures in the building. The Kensington And Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) that manage the building are under scrutiny. A spokesperson from the council claimed that the building has been regularly inspected and promised a thorough investigation will be made.

History and few details about the tower

  • The 24-storey Residential Tower is situated in the sprawling neighborhood of the Lancaster West Estate.
  • There are 120 apartments on 20 levels.
  • four levels are meant for community halls and podiums for social gatherings and events.
  • The tower was constructed by Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council in 1974.
  • In 2016, a two-year long refurbishment was completed.