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Over 200 London firefighters battle North Kensington blaze in 27-story high-rise

15 June 2017

At least six people were killed Wednesday when a massive fire tore through a London apartment block in the middle of the night, with witnesses reporting terrified people had leapt from the 24-storey tower.

Flames come out of a window at the Grenfell Tower, a 24-story apartment block in North Kensington, London. Some residents said no alarm had sounded.LOST CHILDRENResidents who escaped told how they woke up to the smell of burning and rushed to leave through smoke-filled corridors and stairwells.Black smoke billowed high into the air for hours after the blaze broke out.

"As I was going down the stairs, there were firefighters, truly wonderful firefighters that were actually going upstairs, to the fire, trying to get as many people out the building as possible", he told the BBC.

The Associated Press reported there was no immediate word on what caused the fire but said angry residents had warned local authorities about fire issues.

According to LBC, Another resident said she saw a woman throw her son, who was about five years old, from a fifth or sixth floor window to escape the blaze. Some were evacuated in their pajamas.

Twelve people have died and more are feared dead after a huge fire destroyed a tower block in west London.

The London Ambulance Service said 78 people had been treated in six hospitals.

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London mayor Sadiq Khan said the fire raised questions over safety of high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower.

Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization said in a statement "it is too early to speculate what caused the fire and contributed to its spread".

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Adi Estu, 32, who was in her pyjamas and a coat, said: "I saw people flashing their lights for help, families flashing their mobile phones like a torch". Officials said it could be days before an investigation could yield any hint of what caused the fire or why it spread so quickly.

"Muslims played a big part in getting a lot of people out", he said.

The Grenfell Tower on the Lancaster West Estate, built in the 1970s and renovated several times, contains 120 homes.

She said: 'People were starting to appear at the windows, frantically banging and screaming.

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A fire and rescue service earlier said the building had 27 floors.

Another eyewitness, Daniel, said: "They were trapped".

Prime Minister Theresa May's Downing Street office said she was "deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life" in the fire.

Residents of the block who had left during the fire were being urged to make themselves known to the authorities so it was known they were safe.

"There were people just throwing their kids out saying 'Save my children, '" Tamara said.

Grenfell Tower was recently upgraded at a cost of 8.6 million pounds ($11 million), with work finishing in May 2016.

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