West London flats engulfed by enormous flames

Hugo Zarey, who lives in one of the other buildings, says he could hear the commotion outside when police pounded on his door and ordered him to leave.

Grenfell Tower is in west London and witnesses in the area said the flames took hold of 24 stories.

An acrid column of smoke could be seen rising from the building shortly before 7am.

"We can see how quick the fire spreads via the external panels". Police closed the A40, a major road leading out of west London, while some parts London's underground train network were closed as a precaution.

Nassima Boutrig, who lives opposite the building, said she was awakened by sirens and smoke so thick that it filled her home as well. An updated figure was not available. The whole building is engulfed in flames.

This story has been corrected by removing reference to 15 being treated for smoke inhalation, which was information from an older incident.

Police earlier said they had been evacuating people from the building, and that a number of people were being treated for a wide range of injuries.

The fire has been burning for more than three hours and stretches from the second to the 24th floor of the building.

"Fire is from second to top floor of 27 storey building", the fire service said on Twitter. It's also not clear whether people are trapped.

"We can confirm that we have taken 30 patients to five London hospitals following the incident", said Stuart Crichton, assistant director of operations at the London Ambulance Service.

"Crews wearing breathing apparatus and extended duration breathing apparatus have been working in extremely challenging and hard conditions to rescue people and bring this major fire under control", Cotton said.

"At this time I am very sad to confirm that there have been a number of fatalities, I can not confirm the number at this time due to the size and complexity of this building", Dany Cotton, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade told reporters.

BBC reports that George Clarke, the presenter of TV programme Amazing Spaces, told Radio 5 Live: "I'm getting covered in ash, that's how bad it is".

He said he saw people waving flashlights from the top levels of the building and saw rescuers "doing an incredible job" trying to get people out.

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