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Huge fire engulfs tower block in west London

Desperately trying to avoid the flames, residents threw one baby and other small children from high windows to people down on the sidewalk, witnesses said.

Shaken survivors of a blaze that ravaged a west London tower block told Wednesday of seeing people trapped or jump to their doom as flames raced towards the building's upper floors and smoke filled the corridors.

Police confirmed six people died, but the number is expected rise after the fire started on the fourth floor and quickly spread.

NHS England said 74 people are being treated in six hospitals across the capital, of whom 20 are in critical care.

Stuart Crichton, the Ambulance Service's assistant director of operations, tabbed 100 medics at the scene, together with ambulance crews and advanced trauma teams. The cause of the fire was not immediately known. After that (fire), I'm not so sure that was an accident.

The fire brigade says a structural engineer and expert crews believe the building is not in danger of collapsing.

Grenfell Tower is a 24-story public housing block containing 120 homes that is part of the Lancaster West Estate. Regrettably, he said, he was unable to carry his elderly father and fears that he may not have survived.

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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".

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton earlier told reporters: "This is an unprecedented incident". "The fire service is dealing with a rapidly changing situation and these numbers [of dead and injured] are likely to rise".

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

Some social media users posted photos and videos of the fire as it continued to rage after sunrise, and others posted images of loved ones who are unaccounted for.

Several hundred people would have been in the block when the fire broke out, local officials said. "It has burned through to its very core".

"It appears that the external cladding has significantly contributed to the spread of fire", said Angus Law from the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. Our thoughts go to the people who lived in the building and their families. I don't know what they spent £10m on, but the lifts in this block, and all the blocks around, cost £60, ooo to fix and they've still never replaced them.

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.

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