Firefighters battle massive blaze in London high-rise

London Fire Brigade said the cause of the fire was still being investigated.

The London A40 road is seen closed (left) as flames and smoke billow from the fire. The scent of acrid smoke hung in the air.

Some British media had reported scenes of residents desperately shouting for help from windows on upper floors as the fire spread, though those reports could not be independently confirmed. In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I've never seen anything on this scale.

"We declared a major incident very early, which meant not just the fire service but also the London Ambulance Service, the police and the others were involved at the scene".

"Residents continue to be evacuated from the tower block fire in North Kensington". "I consider this mass murder".

More than 200 firefighters were still tackling the blaze at the tower, where hundreds of people are thought to live.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Some 50 people are being treated in hospitals after a massive fire set a 24-story apartment block in west London ablaze overnight. 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.

"We have had people coming in and out, now people have started bringing clothes", Walsh said.

He said: "I saw the lady, she threw herself from the building".

He said he saw people jumping from the building.

London Fire Brigade chief Dany Cotton told reporters at the scene that there have been "a number of fatalities". It was fire up, up, up. "They couldn't stop the fire".

Some said the speed of the fire made them nervous about the state of their own buildings.

"There were no fire alarms", said Daffarn, who was warned by a neighbor to flee. I just ran down the stairs.

Mr Chellat said he spoke to his brother-in-law, who has a wife and three children living on the 21st floor, who were told to remain inside the block by emergency services - but they have not been heard from since. A variety of languages was heard. The firefighters are working very hard to rescue the residents from the fire.

The Westway is now closed, buses are on diversion and there is now no service between Hammersmith and Edgware Road on the Hammersmith and City and Circle lines.

He told CNN it was not yet clear how many people were evacuated or how many people are receiving support.

By morning, tables were overflowing with bottles of water, food, candies and clothing.

Helicopters hovered overhead. Exhausted firefighters sprawled on the pavement just inside the police cordon, drinking water from plastic bottles.

George Clarke, an architect and television personality, who said he was 100 yards away, told the BBC: "I'm getting covered in ash".

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