A map shows the location of the tower block in west London. The surrounding area is densely populated with other houses and flats 

‘A number of fatalities’ confirmed as huge blaze ‘sparked by a faulty FRIDGE’ engulfs 27-storey London tower block: Trapped residents build ropes from sheets and hurl themselves from windows in desperate attempt to escape

  • Several people are confirmed dead after a huge inferno broke out at a residential tower block in West London
  • Many residents believed to still be trapped inside the 27-storey building as it teeters on the brink of collapse
  • More than 600 residents desperately tried to escape the flames as the fire broke out in the middle of the night
  • The London Ambulance Service said 50 people have been rushed to five different hospitals around the capital

Several people have been confirmed dead after a huge inferno ‘sparked by a faulty fridge’ broke out at a residential tower block in West London.

Families were forced to ‘beg for their lives’ as they tried to escape the blaze, while several people are still trapped inside the 27-storey building as it teeters on the brink of collapse.

Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road, White City, is currently ‘lurching’ to one side after a ‘very, very severe fire’ broke out in the early hours of Wednesday morning, with those inside claiming a fire alarm failed to sound.

More than 600 residents desperately tried to escape the flames as the fire broke out in the middle of the night, with many woken by the screams of others and the smell of burning plastic.

As residents flooded the streets outside the building, many spoke of members of their family or close neighbours being unaccounted for, as they were forced to watch on as their home and all their belongings went up in flames.

A woman who volunteers at one of the local community centres where residents are being taken said dozens of children remain unaccounted for, as separated families desperately try to reunite with their loved ones.

Many residents who gathered outside the smoldering ruins of the building said the fire had been caused by a faulty fridge in one of the flats, but the fire service told MailOnline it could not confirm the reports at this stage.

One neighbour said he saw people jumping from up to 15 floors up to escape the fire, while there were screams of joy and a relief as a five-year-old girl was pulled from the flames by emergency services.

Dany Cotton, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said there had been ‘a number of fatalities’ following a ‘unprecedented incident’ that she described as the largest in scale that she had seen in her 29-year career.

Many residents who gathered outside the smoldering ruins of the building said the fire had been caused by a faulty fridge in one of the flats, but the fire service told MailOnline it could not confirm the reports at this stage

Many residents who gathered outside the smoldering ruins of the building said the fire had been caused by a faulty fridge in one of the flats, but the fire service told MailOnline it could not confirm the reports at this stage

In this image taken by eyewitness Gurbuz Binici, a huge fire engulfs the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road, White City

In this image taken by eyewitness Gurbuz Binici, a huge fire engulfs the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road, White City

More than 600 residents desperately tried to escape the flames as the fire broke out in the middle of the night, with many woken by the screams of others and the smell of burning plastic

More than 600 residents desperately tried to escape the flames as the fire broke out in the middle of the night, with many woken by the screams of others and the smell of burning plastic

A woman covered in ash is comforted by others as she looks on while the enormous fire rages through the night and into the morning

A woman covered in ash is comforted by others as she looks on while the enormous fire rages through the night and into the morning

The cordon around the block has been pushed back by police and homes surrounding it evacuated amid fears that the building could collapse in the densely populated area of London

At least one resident is still stuck inside the block on the 11th floor, with firefighters still desperately trying to reach him

At least one resident is still stuck inside the block on the 11th floor, with firefighters still desperately trying to reach him

Dany Cotton, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said there had been 'a number of fatalities' following a 'unprecedented incident' that she described as the largest in scale that she had seen in her 29-year career

Dany Cotton, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said there had been ‘a number of fatalities’ following a ‘unprecedented incident’ that she described as the largest in scale that she had seen in her 29-year career

Several people have been confirmed dead after a huge inferno broke out at a residential tower block in West London (shown)

Several people have been confirmed dead after a huge inferno broke out at a residential tower block in West London (shown)

A man (circled) looks from a window as smoke pours from a fire that has engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London

A man (circled) looks from a window as smoke pours from a fire that has engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London

Firefighters have been battling the blaze for several hours and while the flames are slwoly being brought under control, there are fears the tower could collapse

Natalie Oxford took this photo early this morning

Firefighters have been battling the blaze for several hours and while the flames are slwoly being brought under control, there are fears the tower could collapse

A trapped resident looks out from his window as he tries to get the attention of the rescue services. Emergency services asked people to shine torches or their phones from their windows to let them know they were still inside

A trapped resident looks out from his window as he tries to get the attention of the rescue services. Emergency services asked people to shine torches or their phones from their windows to let them know they were still inside

The heat was said to be so intense that firefighters (shown) were unable to get close to the building, which was built in 1974

The heat was said to be so intense that firefighters (shown) were unable to get close to the building, which was built in 1974

London Ambulance Service said 50 people have been rushed to five hospitals around the capital, while at least one resident is still stuck inside the block on the 11th floor, with firefighters desperately trying to reach him.

Those in the upper floors were seen flashing torches in a bid to call for help, tying bedding together to create makeshift ropes.

Panicked residents trapped high in the enormous tower were heard screaming for help as they leaned out of their windows and tied bed sheets together in an attempt to reach the ground.

Many of those evacuated said they were woken by screams, intense heat and the smell of burning plastic, thought to be white cladding that was installed on the building last year as part of a £10million refurbishment.

One woman said that residents faced ‘either jumping out the window with their children and risk breaking bones or staying where you were and dying’.

The fire is said to have spread from the second floor to the roof of the enormous 120-flat block in just 15 minutes, with 200 firefighters struggling to bring it under control.

Eyewitness Tamara told BBC News: ‘You could hear people screaming “help me, help me”.

‘There were people throwing their kids out [of windows], they were shouting “save my children”. The fire brigade were telling people to stay where they were, they were telling people “we’ll come and get you”.’

Hanan Wahabi, 39, who lives on the ninth floor, said she was awoken at about 1am by smoke.

‘I could see there was ash coming through the window in the living room, which was partially open,’ she said, sitting with her husband and son, 16, and daughter, eight, outside a local community centre.

‘I looked out and I could see the fire travelling up the block. It was literally by my window,’ she said. ‘I slammed the window shut and got out.’

After the family escaped, she called her brother, who lives on the 21st floor, to see if he was all right.

 

A woman with six children who was attempting to escape from the 21st floor of the London tower block fire this morning got to the bottom to discover two of them were missing, it has been claimed

A woman with six children who was attempting to escape from the 21st floor of the London tower block fire this morning got to the bottom to discover two of them were missing, it has been claimed