[The Guardian}- An unknown number of people have been killed and dozens injured after a huge fire engulfed a tower block in west London in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Hundreds of firefighters battled to rescue residents from their flats after the fire broke out at Grenfell Tower on Latimer Road, near Notting Hill, shortly before 1am.
The blaze rapidly engulfed the full height of the 24-storey block, and was still burning strongly more than six hours later, with a thick pall of dark smoke visible across the capital.
Residents could be seen waving and screaming from their windows, as firefighters wearing breathing apparatus fought to rescue them from their flats.
Shortly before 8am, the London fire commissioner, Dany Cotton, confirmed there had been “a number of fatalities” as a result of the “unprecedented” fire.
“In my 29 years of being a firefighter I have never ever seen anything of this scale,” she said. “This is a major fire that has affected all floors of this 24 storey building, from the second floor upwards.”
The number of deaths could not yet be confirmed “due to the size and complexity of this fire,” Cotton said, adding that the cause of the blaze was also unknown at this stage.