A witness illustrated how residents desperately tried to run off from the Grenfell Tower in Kensington West London after the fire ripped through it.
Desperate families tucked their kids to safety by throwing them from the window. Residents waved towels, shirts, or blankets for help and to get the firefighters’ attention. Everybody was screaming “save my children.”
Grenfell Tower was home to at least 400 people in 120 apartments. Firefighters first responded to the scene at 12:54 am and are still working to find survivors.
Shocked eyewitnesses described scenes of bloodshed as frantic residents trapped inside the block attempted to flee.
One frantic mother was forced to throw her child from the 9th or 10th floor window.
As the fire engulfed a 24-story apartment building early Wednesday morning, k*****g at least 30 people (updates as confirmed by police) injuring more than 70.
“A woman appeared at the window gesturing and trying to get someone’s attention,” Samira Lamrani, a bystander, told NBC News. “She had the baby in hand — she was gesturing like she was going to throw the baby out.”
People on the ground watched as the woman wrapped the infant in a thick blanket and dropped it out the window.
“The baby just sort of dropped in a straight line, and a gentleman who was standing beside me just ran forward and the baby landed into his arms,” Lamrani went on, calling the child’s survival “miraculous.” It is unknown whether or not the baby’s mother made it out of the burning building.
“People were starting to appear at the windows, frantically banging and screaming,” she told the Press Association.
“A friend of mine’s friend was in Grenfell and she and her two teenage kids and a younger child was apparently given advice by the fire service to stay indoors and she did follow that advice and unfortunately it seem like she lost her life coz nobody can contact her.”
Daniel, an identified witness, told BBC Radio London that people on the upper floors were trapped. He also added that the flames rose higher and higher. “People have been burned,” he said. “I have seen it with my own eyes. And I have seen people jump.”
The horrifying scene was exceptional in recent memory. The fire crew, ambulance, and police couldn’t do anything, they couldn’t get in, and they were just telling them to stay where they are, and they’ll come and get them. But things quickly escalated beyond measure and they couldn’t go back in and get them.
A Lancaster West estate resident’s committee member said they are working with a missing list of “possibly hundreds” of residents. But, they confirmed – nobody who lived on the 21st residential floor above survived.
“Within another 15 minutes the whole thing was up in flames and there were still people at their windows shouting ‘Help me’. You could see the fire going into their houses and engulfing the last room that they were in.”
“In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never, ever seen anything of this scale,” London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton said. “This is a major fire that’s affected all floors of the 24-story structure from the second floor upwards.”
More than 250 firefighters, 100 medics, and 100 police officers responded to the emergency. 20 people are in critical condition. The Grenfell incident really marked London’s history.
The building is still smoldering hours later as the city rallies around survivors and victims’ families.
Thousands of donations have been made to the local Notting Hill Methodist Church. In addition to that, hundreds of people opened their homes to survivors.
London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan has declared the blaze a “major incident”.
One resident said that the fire started on the fourth floor. They believed the fire started by a faulty fridge.
Survivors said the building’s fire alarms never sounded. Apparently, the tower underwent a renovation in May 2016 and spent $12.8 million on this new cladding. They also stated that it was said to meet “rigorous fire safety standards.”
According to some observations, the material that was used looked very unusual. It was almost like it was plastic and it didn’t look suitable.
Somebody should be responsible for putting the material on such a huge building because that does plays a big part.