Towering Inferno Engulfs London Apartment Building

See below for updates.

A horrific fire in west London has engulfed a 27-story building tonight. The London Fire Brigade said that 200 firefighters and 40 firetrucks are on the scene of a massive conflagration that encompasses nearly every floor, from the second through the twenty-seventh. People are reportedly screaming for help and tying together bed sheets to try and escape the smoke and flames. Authorities are trying to rescue victims trapped in the building amid fears that the tower could collapse. There have been some reports of people jumping from the building.

Alice Ross from The Guardian just filed this report from the scene:

People can be seen at the windows, including one man waving a blanket from the window. People from neighbouring estates are huddled outside in their pyjamas near the flaming building, some shouting “put your head out the window” or calling the man with the blanket to shout his flat numbers so they can guide the fire services to him. Fire officers are spraying his window with water to try and douse the flames.

There’s a smell of acrid smoke and flaming debris is spiralling from the building. There’s the sound of breaking glass and dull pops.

“There was a woman with a child. I saw her waving maybe 30mins ago,” said a man who asked not to be named. “She said I’ve got a child ... I saw them spraying her window.”

Hadil Alamily said in the past hour she saw “someone jump on fire from the top floor”. She had seen him flashing a light in an SOS pattern.

“He was screaming help, help, help but no one helped. He dashed a mattress out of the window. He was literally on fire and jumped.”

It's obviously too soon to know for sure what caused the fire, but there is already some speculation: