Published on : Thursday, June 15, 2017
Hundreds of the roughly 500 residents in the block were unaccounted for Wednesday night. Some estimated that the death toll could rise above 100. Fire fighters rescued 65 people from Grenfell Tower in north Kensington, after they were called at 00:54 BST.
A total of 74 people were being treated in hospitals, with 20 of them in a critical condition after the fire, thought to have been sparked by a faulty refrigerator, started just after 1 a.m. Wednesday and quickly spread up the building.
Eyewitnesses said they saw lights, which are thought to be mobile phones or torches, flashing at the top of the block of flats. Although officials would not speculate, experts said Wednesday that their focus was on the building’s exterior cladding, which is supposed to be fireproof but which witnesses said had burned like paper, quickly transmitting the fire from unit to unit and from floor to floor.
In one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods of London — a short amble from the homes of celebrities and royals — people living in one of the city’s increasingly in-demand havens of affordable housing jumped from 20 floors up after being trapped by the advancing flames. Outside, residents who had survived praised the fire fighters but blamed the fire on official neglect.