Key Points:

  • Huge fire has engulfed a West London tower block, Grenfell Tower in Latimer Rd
  • Six people have been confirmed dead but the toll is expected to rise
  • At least 50 patients have been taken to hospital
  • The cause of the fire is being investigated but report said it was due to a 'faulty fridge'
  • 200 firefighters with 40 engines are at the scene
  • The tower has at least 27 storeys and contains 120 flats
  • Streets around the building have been cordoned off
  • London mayor Sadiq Khan declared blaze as a "major incident"

At least six people have died after a huge fire ripped through a 27-storey west London tower block today, with many residents still missing amid reports of people trapped in their homes.

More than 60 people injured were taken to hospital after a fire engulfed all floors from the second to the top of the Grenfell Tower, where several hundred people lived.

Police confirmed there had been six fatalities.

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London Ambulance Service spokesman Paul Woodrow said they had taken 64 patients to six hospitals across London and 20 people were in critical care.

It is unclear how many managed to get out safely.

As an investigation into the cause of the fire begins, residents reported that fire alarms had not sounded.

Officials said they do not know the cause of the fire though one report said a faulty fridge was to blame.

More than 600 residents desperately tried to escape the flames as the fire broke out in the middle of the night, with many woken by the screams of others and the smell of burning plastic.

Eyewitnesses revealed how families "begged for their lives" as they tried to escape the blaze, while people are still trapped inside the building as it teeters on the brink of collapse.

To save her child's life a woman dropped her baby off the ninth or 10th floor. A man ran forward and managed to catch the infant.

Grenfell Tower in Latimer Rd, White City, is currently "lurching" to one side after a "very, very severe fire" broke out in the early hours of Wednesday morning local time, with those inside claiming a fire alarm failed to sound.

A significant number of people are unaccounted for in the devastating London building fire which is still being brought under control.

The Met Police have not put a figure on the number of people missing, but anxious relatives and friends have started to post desperate messages on social media looking for their loved ones.

Jamie Oliver has offered those affected by the fire free food, drink and shelter at his nearby restaurant.

The British celebrity chef, whose Jamie's Italian chain has a restaurant at the Westfield London shopping centre near the tower block, also shared his "thoughts, love and prayers" for those affected by the blaze.

Prime Minister Theresa May says she's 'deeply saddened' by massive tower blaze in west London.

Residents who escaped the inferno have been taken to evacuated to nearby churches and community centres.

It comes as police extend a zone around the building as fears increase it could collapse at any time. Debris has been crashing to the ground since the blaze began.

Thirty people have been taken to five London hospitals. It wasn't immediately known what their conditions were.

Several people are being treated for a "range of injuries" including smoke inhalation.

The leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Nick Paget-Brown said "several hundred" people would have been in the block when the fire broke out.

One neighbour said he believed someone had jumped from about 10 to 15 floors to escape the fire, while there were screams of joy and a relief as a five-year-old girl was pulled from the flames by emergency services.

As dawn broke in London the scale of the devastation became clear. Parts of the fire then appeared to have been extinguished, but flames could still be seen on many floors.

Smoke rises from the Grenfell Tower building on fire in London. Photo / AP
Smoke rises from the Grenfell Tower building on fire in London. Photo / AP

The fire spread from the second floor to the roof of the tower block, with firefighters struggling to bring it under control, according to Daily Mail.

Panicked residents trapped high in the enormous tower were heard screaming for help as they made ropes from sheets in an attempt to reach the ground.

Terrified residents in their pyjamas were evacuated as police pushed people away from the area for fear the block will collapse as debris started to fall from the tower.

Police, 40 fire engines and helicopters rushed to the scene as horrifying pictures emerged on social media showing giant flames licking up the side of the block.

Fire crews from North Kensington, Kensington, Hammersmith and Paddington and from surrounding fire stations are in attendance. The cause of the fire is not known.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said a "major incident" had been declared.

The Metropolitan Police have also updated the situation on Twitter.

London Ambulance sent more than 20 ambulance crews to the scene.

A witness, who lives 600 metres from the building, told Sky News: "The acrid smell is just horrendous. The building has pretty much burnt out, there are just a few bits that are still not burning.

"Ever single window is gutted. There is debris falling off it. The heat was extraordinary. The fire has wrapped itself around the block. People on the street said it started on the fourth floor and spread all the way up and around."

Victoria Goldsmith, who lives nearby, told Sky News: "The whole building seems to have been engulfed. It has spread all the way to the top.

"There were two people trapped on the top, they were using their mobile phones.

"One woman was having a panic attack, The woman had seen everything she owned gone up in flames."

The London Fire Brigade said: "Crews continue to work hard at tower block fire in North Kensington. Fire is from 2nd to top floor of 27 storey building."

Firefighters wait to start their shift after a massive fire raged in a 27-floor high-rise apartment building in London. Photo / AP
Firefighters wait to start their shift after a massive fire raged in a 27-floor high-rise apartment building in London. Photo / AP

London Fire Brigade assistant commissioner Dan Daly said: "Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle this fire.

"This is a large and very serious incident and we have deployed numerous resources and specialist appliances."

Firemen are inside the building, trying to get people out. The tower block was built in 1974 as part of the Lancaster West Estate.

Residents have been asked to shine torches and phones out of their windows so the fire brigade can see there is someone needing rescuing.

By 3am local time, at least one torch was still shining from the block, which was ablaze on two sides as hundreds of concerned neighbours gathered near the building to watch and try to contact those inside.

Ashish Joshi, a senior correspondent for Sky News UK, said the police cordon extends several blocks back from the blaze.

"There isn't any panic, people are just looking at what is happening with a degree of disbelief.

"The tower bloke is aflame, the smoke is rising, there are people who have escaped with their lives who are looking back on the tower and knowing that everything they have has been destroyed.

"It's a terrible, terrible situation."

One neighbour, Derry Glover, told MailOnline he first heard sirens at around 1am local time. He added he believed someone had jumped from the building.

Police and the London Fire Brigade have rushed to the scene as horrifying pictures emerged on social media showing massive flames rapidly licking up the side of the block.

One witness told BBC Radio: "There are parents and kids in pyjamas waiting outside."

One neighbour, Derry Glover, said he first heard sirens at around 12.45am. He added that he believed someone had jumped from the building.

A group of people trying to help out police were forced back because they were walking towards the burning building.

Residents still in the building had been told by firefighters to line the bottom of their doors to stop smoke getting in. Meanwhile, they were conducting a roll call of flats to work out who might still be trapped inside.

George Clarke, the presenter of Amazing Spaces, told Radio 5 Live: "I was in bed and heard 'beep, beep, beep' and thought, 'I'll get up and run downstairs as quickly as I could'.

"I thought it might be a car alarm outside and saw the glow through the windows. I'm getting covered in ash, that's how bad it is. I'm 100 metres away and I'm absolutely covered in ash. It's so heartbreaking, I've seen someone flashing their torches at the top level and they obviously can't get out.

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

Clarita Ghavimi, 66, who lives on seventh floor, said she was told to leave the building amid fears it might collapse.

"At 12.30am I heard a loud alarm and I woke up," she told MailOnline.

"Then I heard a voice on the speaker saying 'You need to get out, the building's going to collapse.' I went to the door and my flat started smoking so I grabbed a towel and made it damp to stop the smoke."

She added: "When I opened my door two men carried me down the stairs. I am concerned that my son doesn't think that I'm safe. I've tried to get in contact with him but I can't remember his number. I feel like I have some smoke inhalation."

Ms Ghavimi explained that she only has her bus pass on her. "My passport, everything is in there."

Shocked bystanders filmed the blaze from the ground, and shouted at trapped people waving from their windows to "cover their mouths".

"Cover your mouth with a wet towel," they said. "Don't panic. It started on the fourth floor or something. There are people in their windows, putting their heads out."

Earlier, an eyewitness said: "There are about 15 fire engines but are struggling to get in and out because there is just one narrow road in and one narrow road out."

Another added: "Sirens flying up and down the road and police helicopter hovering for nearly two hours has been the noise tonight. Terrible."

Tim Donwie wrote: "Raging fire near Latimer Rd. Whole block of 24 floors up in flames. People still trapped inside. Horrendous."

One resident wrote on Twitter: "I'm stuck in this block!!! Can't leave my house because I'll die from the smoke."

Celeste Thomas added: "Police have moved everyone back out of direct sight but can hear cracking and debris falling.

"Police have been asking everyone to go inside. Fire spread and not yet showing signs of coming under control."

A third added: "24 storeys burning in West London area. All floors and columns burning."

Another witness Fabio Bebber wrote on Twitter:

"More screams for help as the fire spreads to another side of the building.

"We can see how quick the fire spreads via the external panels. It's unbearable hearing someone screaming for their lives at Grenfelltower."

Met Police have said: "Police were called at 1.16am on Wednesday, 14 June to reports of a large fire at a block of flats in the Lancaster West Estate, W11.

"Officers, the London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance Service are currently at the scene. An evacuation process is underway.

"At this stage we are aware of two people being treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. We await an update as to whether there are any further injuries.

"The Local Authority has been informed. Cordons are in place and it is advised that the estate and surrounding area is avoided."

- Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, news.com.au, AP