Firefighters battling massive blaze in London high-rise

It's not clear how many people remain trapped inside the building or how many escaped, but witnesses say they saw people jumping from the tower.

A huge fire has engulfed a 24-story apartment block in West London. "In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never ever seen anything of this scale".

The fire broke out before daybreak local time Wednesday, when most of the building's residents would have still been in bed.

Eyewitnesses were telling the BBC that they feared the building would collapse.

He said: "It's horrendous".

The group said there was one entry and exit to Grenfell Tower during improvement works at the block in Latimer Road and it had issues with evacuation procedures at the building.

"I have seen it with my own eyes". I just hope they have got everyone out.

Earlier it was reported that some people were trapped in the fire, and residents were desperately shouting for help from windows on upper floors as the fire spread.

"We saw the people screaming", she said.

"I ran around the building looking for a fire escape and couldn't see any noticeable fire escapes around the building". A lot of debris falling down.

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

He added that given the thickness of the smoke, he would be surprised if anyone could have left the building without assistance. Police said two people were being treated for smoke inhalation.

Nick Paget-Brown described the blaze as a "very, very severe fire".

Several hundred people are feared to have been in the block of flats when it went up in the early hours of this morning.

"I'm really not in any position to answer any questions about the structure". More than 20 ambulance crews were on the scene, along with 200 firefighters and 45 fire engines.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

George Clarke, a television presenter who lives nearby, told BBC Radio 5 Live he could see people at the top. I'm 100 metres away and I'm absolutely covered in ash.

"The guys are doing an incredible job to try and get people out that building, but it's truly bad".

"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. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Twitter that a major incident had been declared.

The 27-story Grenfell Tower was built in the 1970s and recently subject to a $10.9 million redevelopment, according to property firm Rydon. "My prayers with those affected & heroes tackling it".

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