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Death Toll Expected To Rise as Massive Inferno Engulfs Famed London Apartment Building

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Parents were seen tossing children to safety as more than 1000 residents were trapped when a six-alarm fire broke out at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London, a 24-story apartment building, just after midnight Wednesday morning.

"I can confirm there have been a number of fatalities and others receiving medical care. We will soon be making contact with next of kin. The force said it was likely to take some time before we are in a position to confirm the cause of the fire," Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police said, as reported in Wales Online.

Official reports as dawn breaks in London, more than 200 fire fighters and forty engines responded to the fast moving blaze that reportedly began when a refrigerator exploded. Although all have said it is too early to determine the origin or cause of the blaze.

The fastmoving fire had within minutes consumed an entire side of the block building.

Videos posted on social media show the raging inferno, with flames shooting high into the night sky, and an orange red glow of heat can be seen inside the windows.

Most of the 120 apartments in Grenfell Tower would have been occupied as the nighttime blaze caught most sleeping or retired for the evening. Desperate for rescue, residents on the upper floors, were seen flickering their lights in a hopeless effort to draw the attention of fire rescue units.

London Ambulance services indicated more than 50 persons were transported to local hospitals. The fire as dawn broke was still smoldering with pockets of fire still burning.

Residents took to Twitter posting pictures and partial stories of escape. A man and his 68-year-old Aunt made it down to safety form the 17th floor. He said the smoke was very heavy when they decided to leave. He also spoke of not hearing a general building fire alarm only apartment smoke detector alarms. He said "I lost everything."

The horror of the fire has yet to unfold as morning breaks, many of the residents are still missing and loss of life is expected to be significant. Media services are posting pictures on the inferno that try to show the human scale as residents were at their windows within reach of high rise ladders and unable to escape. Perhaps the most devastating concern is that all who escape the inferno have said "they didn't hear the bells."

Images courtesy of Twitter and BBC London

 

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