According to Lamrani, some people trapped inside the 24-story Grenfell Tower were "banging, frantically smacking the windows trying to get out". Residents say it appeared to start in an apartment on a lower floor and spread upward quickly. "Within half an hour, an hour, it literally went to the top floor and there is about 23 floors up there, so it was really bad".
"In my 29 years of firefighting I have seen nothing of this scale", Cotton says.
More than 200 people live in the tower, but it was not clear how many people were inside.
The outpouring of community support was inspiring as people queued up outside churches and community centres to deliver water, clothes, blankets, nappies, sandwiches and children's toys.
Muslims living in - and near - the London tower gutted by a massive blaze early this morning were among the hero residents who saved lives because they were awake eating suhoor (fasting meal).
The majority of tower blocks in Northern Ireland are based in Belfast, with others in Lisburn, Newtownabbey and Larne.
In the wake of the deadly blaze, Australian authorities have been told an audit of high-rise buildings with cladding is needed to ensure the material is fire-retardant.
"Somebody did, a gentleman ran forward and managed to grab the baby". Tiago Etienne, 17, said he spotted about three children between the ages of four and eight being dropped from an apartment around the 15th floor.
London Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said that the death toll had risen to 12 by the early evening and warned more casualties were likely.
Paul Woodrow, from the London Ambulance Service said 68 patients were taken to six hospitals across London, 18 of whom are receiving critical care, while a further ten patients self-presented at hospitals.
London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton has confirmed that police were first called at 12.54, before the first of 40 units arrived within six minutes.
Refurbishment of the housing block had been completed previous year and the Fire Brigades Union said something had gone badly wrong with fire prevention procedures at the building.
"My thoughts are with the victims, their families and all of those who had their homes destroyed", she said.
But several residents reported one man had said it started in his faulty fridge.
Emergency accommodation has been provided to 44 households affected by the fire, with families with young children, elderly residents and those who are vulnerable have been given "immediate priority".
Fire service officials said 65 people were rescued during the course of the operation.
Fabio Bebber wrote on Twitter: "More screams for help as the fire spreads to another side of the building". It was fire up, up, up.
Looking out from the windows of the fire engines lined up along Walmer Road, others bore the vacant expressions of selfless heroes who had been through hell but only wished they could have done more. Some residents initially feared the fire was also terror-related, although authorities discounted that possibility. Michael Paramasivan said he was watching TV in the building as his girlfriend and daughter slept when he smelled burning plastic.
"I'm lucky to be alive". "She had the baby in hand - she was gesturing like she was going to throw the baby out". "I consider this mass murder".
Some tenants previously complained about the upkeep of the tower, specifically warning about the fire risk. In a November 20 blog, the group predicted that only "a catastrophic event" leading to "serious loss of life" would bring the outside scrutiny needed to make conditions safe for residents.
Smoke rises from the Grenfell Tower in west London on Wednesday. "You just don't know, right now we can only offer prayers", he said.
They also claimed that the KCTMO narrowly averted a fire disaster at Grenfell Tower in 2013 when residents experienced a period of terrifying power surges that were subsequently found to have been caused by faulty wiring. Rydon, the British company that did the refurbishing, said in a statement that its work "met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards".
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan tweeted that a major incident has been declared at Grenfell Tower in Kensington.The BBC reported that debris falling from the building and that explosions were heard along with the sounds of glass breaking.