Firefighters battling massive blaze in London high-rise

A fast-moving overnight fire engulfed a 24-story apartment tower in London on Wednesday, killing at least 12 people and injuring 74 others, police said.

More than 200 firefighters, backed up by 40 fire engines, fought for hours to try to bring the blaze, one of the biggest seen in central London in memory, under control.

Fire crews are searching the tower and Mr Cundy added: "I do anticipate that there may be people within that building that are as yet unaccounted for".

Footage on social media showed the flames on most floors, with witnesses reporting seeing people trapped in their units, while others were forced to jump from the apartment block, some from as high as 15 floors.

At the time of reporting, six people have died as a result of the event and, according to the BBC, "more than 70 people [are now being] treated at five London hospitals" with "20 in critical care".

Mahad, who escaped the fire-ravaged block, said the blaze began when his neighbour's fridge exploded. Some were evacuated in their pajamas.

A huge fundraising drive has been launched to help out the residents of Grenfell Tower, the west London block of flats that was engulfed in flames in the early hours of this morning.

London Ambulance said it had sent a "number of resources" to the scene, including its Hazardous Area Response Team.

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.

Relevant to your professional network? It was not clear if there were residents trapped, but people at the scene spoke of not being able to reach friends and family who had been inside.

Witnesses described hearing screams, watching a person fall out the high-rise block and a woman holding a baby out of a window.

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".

In 2009, six people died after a fire broke out in Lakanal House, a tower block in Camberwell, south-east London.

"The areas one has to look at are.The number of people available to the fire services".

He said he saw people waving flashlights from the top level of the building and saw rescuers "doing an incredible job" trying to get people out.

"We could see a lot of children and parents screaming for 'Help!"

Tia Abrahams, who lives close to the scene, got there before the fire service.

Fire officials say it's too early to determine what ignited the flames.

"Fire is from 2nd to top floor of 27 storey building", the fire service said on Twitter. 90% of residents singed an independent petition asking for there to be an investigation into the organisation that runs this building because they were so incompetent.

London's fire commissioner says she has never seen a fire of this scale, calling it unprecedented.

Some bodies have been removed from the smouldering remains of the building, which contains 120 flats thought to be home to between 400 and 600 people. When she got downstairs there were only four of them with her.

The All-Party Parliamentary Fire and Rescue Group has been demanding changes to the rules since 2013.

Grenfell Tower is managed by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation on behalf of the local council.

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