Community centres and churches overwhelmed with donations for Grenfell Tower residents

Cheryl Sanders
June 14, 2017

London has rallied to help the victims of the Grenfell Tower block fire, with essentials being collected at community centres for the thousands left homeless.

Refurbishment of the housing block had been completed previous year and the Fire Brigades Union said something had gone badly wrong with fire prevention procedures at the building.

Cladding had been added to the outside of the building, blamed by some residents for helping the fire to spread so quickly.

Fabio Bebber wrote on Twitter: "More screams for help as the fire spreads to another side of the building". An unknown number of people have died and about 50 others were sent to hospitals.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that he is "truly devastated to see the horrific scenes of the major fire" at Grenfell Tower in Kensington.

Asked about reports that residents had been told to stay in their apartments in the event of fire, he said: "Thankfully residents didn't stay in their flats and fled to safety".

Khan says in a statement "there will be a great many questions over the coming days as to the cause of this tragedy and I want to reassure Londoners that we will get all the answers".

Several people branded Mark an "idiot" for his comment.

Another resident, called Zara, 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.

Samira Lamrani told Britain's Press Association she saw a woman try to save the baby by dropping it from a window "on the ninth or 10th floor". When no one came to help, she chose to escape on her own, the woman said.

"We can't have a situation where people's safety is put at risk because of bad advice being given or if it is the case, as has been alleged, of tower blocks not being properly serviced or maintained", he said.

Police say there may still be people in the building who are unaccounted for.

Local residents said they had warned repeatedly over fire safety in the block.

Turufat Yilma, who managed to escape, told CNN there was "no fire alarm at all".

If it is too risky to follow your escape route because the stairs and hallways are filled with smoke, ring 999 and stay inside the safest room. Grenfell Action Group have been raising concerns about the 27-storey Grenfell Tower block for the past four years.

The blaze at Grenfell Tower - a residential building in the north Kensignton area - began overnight.

"The potential for a fire to break out in the communal area on the walkway does not bear thinking about as residents would be trapped in the building with no way out", it said. "I watched flames burst out of our window and our flat was engulfed in flames", he said. There is no word on how many people are still inside but officials have confirmed there are "a number of fatalities". At least 30 people have been taken to hospitals.

"With a number of tower blocks in Belfast recently refurbished or now undergoing refurbishment, I have contacted the Northern Ireland Housing Executive so people can be assured that any materials used for the cladding, insulation and general renovation of tower blocks do not present a fire hazard".

Eyewitnesses reported seeing people trapped inside the burning building screaming for help and shouting for their children to be saved.

Many people at St.

The British company that carried out the tower's 2016 refurbishment, Rydon, said in a statement that its work "met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards".

One woman lost two of her six children as she tried to escape from the block, one witness said.

London Fire Brigade said it had rescued 65 people from the building. The blaze was reported at 1:16 am local time. Hours after the fire broke out, a plume of smoke can be seen from miles away. It's gone. It's just a matter of time before this building collapses.

Firefighters were on the scene within six minutes.

London ambulance services are responding to a major fire burned in west London.

Other reports by iNewsToday