14/06/2017 15:44 SAST | Updated 14/06/2017 15:44 SAST

London Fire Updates: Grenfell Tower Death Toll Is At Least Six But Expected To Rise

Residents had warned the building was unsafe.


A massive blaze at a 24-storey tower block in London has killed at least six people and another 74 are in hospitals.

Twenty are being treated in critical care with police warning the number of dead is expected to rise as a "complex recovery operation" begins.

The blaze broke out in the 1974-built Grenfell Tower, home to hundreds of people, shortly after 1am, with local residents blaming newly installed cladding for the fast spread of the fire.

As the blaze burned through the building it created a plume of smoke that could be seen from miles away.

Evacuated residents today claimed that the building's fire alarm failed to go off.

Locals also claimed that the building was "an accident waiting to happen", warning of a potential fire in a series of disturbing blog posts as far back as 2013.

The prime minister was also dragged into the tragedy after it was revealed her new chief advisor failed to carry out a review of fire regulations in tower blocks – despite being warned of the potential for a devastating fire.

The fire is now largely under control, after more than 200 firefighters and 40 engines rushed to the scene, but stories of bravery, generosity and the'miraculous' survival of a baby thrown from the ninth storey have provided some comfort as the scale of the devastation becomes clear.