Some residents screamed for help from behind upper-floor windows, others tried to throw children to safety, as flames raced through the block of about 120 apartments in the North Kensington district just before 1 a.m.
"Forty fire engines and around 200 firefighters went to the scene - but their equipment didn't reach much beyond the 11th floor".
Terrified residents of the Grenfell Tower said there was little warning of the inferno that engulfed their high-rise apartment building and left 12 people dead - a toll that officials said would nearly certainly rise. He believed the cladding caused the fire's intensity.
The block had recently undergone an £8.7 million (NZ$15 million) refurbishment of the exterior, which included new external cladding and replacement windows.
In a video, one woman was seen praising the young Muslim boys who woke up residents and sought help as they returned from Ramadan prayers at their local mosque.
Steve Apter, director of safety and assurance at London Fire Brigade, said: "I can confirm I have had firefighters manage to get through particularly arduous conditions up to the top floor".
AN ACTION group at the west London tower block ravaged by a deadly fire has said its warnings fell on "deaf ears" after it highlighted safety concerns.
Later, police and fire minister Nick Hurd will chair a cross-party meeting to look at how the government can assist the emergency services and local authorities. Some feared the charred tower block might collapse, but a structural engineer said the building was not in danger, according to the London Fire Brigade, which added "it is safe for our crews to be in there".
London fire: Blaze engulfs apartment block in West London
He told the BBC that a situation where "people's safety is put at risk by bad advice or poor maintenance" could not be tolerated. Ahmed Chellah told news.com.au his brother-in-law and his wife were inside with their three children when the fire broke out.
Mr. King told LBC that there were around 4,000 tower blocks in Britain that didn't have fire sprinklers fitted in them, and that requiring these was one of the strong recommendations of the APPG.
Cotton told reporters she'd never seen anything like the fire in her almost 30 years as a firefighter. Some were evacuated in their pyjamas. A plume of smoke stretched for miles (kilometers) over the capital. "It was an inferno". "We were just standing screaming and they were screaming". It was like pyrotechnics. "It was just unbelievable how quick it was burning".
Nassima Boutrig, who lives opposite the building, said she was awakened by sirens and smoke so thick that it filled her home as well.
Tia Abrahams, who lives close to the scene, got there before the fire service and described residents, including children, banging on windows, screaming and crying out for help. A tenants' group had complained for years about the risk of a fire.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said many questions now need to be answered about tower blocks around the city.
"What we can't have is 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".
Paul said he saw one man who was on fire, who jumped from the building.
"The fire will mainly be picked up by Protector's reinsurance program and will, from what we know at the moment, have negligible influence on Protector's net Q2 and 2017 full-year results", the Oslo, Norway-based insurer said in its statement. The insulated material is very similar to sponge so it crumbles in your hand.
"The whole thing just went up, it took off like a match to paper", he told Fairfax Media.