3 kids among 6 dead in London blaze

3 kids among 6 dead in London blaze

Three of the victims died at the scene. Fifteen people — including several children — were taken to hospital where a further three died. A three-week-old baby, children aged six and seven and a woman in her 30s were among the dead. Most of the patients were suffering the effects of smoke and at least three were seriously injured.

Witnesses described hearing residents screaming for help and banging on windows as the fire engulfed the upper floors of the block, and said residents were preparing to escape using bed sheets tied together before fire crews arrived. Around 30 people were rescued by fire crews, although some were trapped for hours as firefighters struggled to reach them.

It took around 100 firefighters and 18 fire engines more than three hours to bring the fire under control.

The fire is believed to have started on the fourth floor and spread rapidly to the 11th. The cause of the fire was still being investigated.

Rescue mission
Carol Hunter, who lives nearby, said: “At first it was just smoke and no one seemed to be doing anything. Then five minutes later I heard a huge bang and flames were everywhere. I went around to try to see if I could help and I found a distraught lady who had her daughter and five kids with the neighbour and a three-year-old stuck in the bathroom on the 11th floor. She was on the phone to them. She couldn’t get to the flat so we told the firefighters. It took them a hour but they were rescued.”

She added: “It was horrible. We saw lots of children banging on the windows to get out and families screaming. There was even bed sheets tied together hanging out of windows with people threatening to jump out if they weren’t going to come and try to help. We saw body bags coming out. I felt sick.”

Michael Thompson, 17, who lives in the block, said: “There was a big bang that sounded like an explosion. People were screaming. I heard people shouting ‘Fire, fire’. I called 999 when I saw the flames and they said they were already on their way. I could smell the smoke from inside my flat so I closed the windows. This black smoke was pouring out of windows.”

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