Twenty firefighters and four fire engines, plus other specialist resources, have remained at the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire in North Kensington throughout the night.
Crews have remained at the scene to monitor the stability of the building’s structure, managing the inner cordon and damping down any remaining pockets of fire.
Firefighters will remain at the scene throughout today (Friday).
In addition, three Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) modules and 30 specialist USAR firefighters are working to make the block safe so our firefighters can continue to progress throughout the building, making a detailed search.
This search will be a slow and painstaking process which will require a large amount of shoring up work, especially on the upper floors which will be the most challenging for us to access and search.
USAR officers will be working alongside the Metropolitan Police Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team and London Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) to assist with recovering people from the building.
Sixty firefighters and eight fire engines, plus other specialist resources remain at the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire in north Kensington today.
Overnight firefighters worked with the gas authority to isolate a ruptured gas main in the block and once this work was completed they were able to extinguish the fire with the help of a 40 metre aerial appliance brought in to assist from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. The fire was under control by 0114 but crews are continuing to damp down remaining pockets of fire.
Comment from London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton
Speaking from the scene London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said: “Sadly we are not expecting to find any more survivors and the operation is now one of recovery rather than rescue. We realise that a lot of people are still incredibly concerned about their loved ones who are still unaccounted for and our priority is to do the best for those waiting for news of their relatives and friends.
“Our specialist urban search and rescue (USAR) crews are currently working to make the block safe so our firefighters can continue to progress throughout the building, making a detailed, fingertip search, for anyone who may still be inside. This will be a slow and painstaking process which will require a large amount of shoring up work inside the building, especially on the upper floors, which will be the most challenging for us to access and search.
“I want to be realistic, we are likely to have crews working at the scene for many days to come. We do not yet know what caused the fire. We do not know where it started and we do not know why it spread in the way that it did. Investigations have started but it is too soon to say any more.
“This was a tragic and unprecedented fire and our thoughts remain with all those affected by it. As I have stated many times, I have never experienced anything like this in my career. However, I have taken enormous strength from the amazing response from all my staff and the response of the other emergency services who continue to be involved in the response to the incident.”
The Brigade will also be utilising specialist urban search and rescue dogs today, which are lighter and can cover a larger area, to help identify anything around the building that may help confirm the identify those still inside.
In addition to firefighting operations our crews continue to work with the local authority to reassure concerned residents from neighbouring blocks in the area and to offer them home fire safety advice.
The Brigade received the first of multiple calls to the incident at 0054 on Wednesday morning. The fire affected all floors of the 24 storey building, from the second floor up, and at its height 40 fire engines and more than 200 firefighters were at the scene. Sadly police have confirmed there have been 17 fatalities and say they expect that figure to rise further. In addition, fire crews rescued 65 people from the building.
London Ambulance Service have confirmed 37 people have been admitted to hospital with 17 remaining in critical care.
Casualty Bureau number
The Metropolitan Police Casualty Bureau is open for members of the public who are concerned about relatives or friends who may have been affected by last night’s fire. The number for the Casualty Bureau is 0800 0961 233. If someone was reported as missing and has been found safe, please call the Casualty Bureau with an update.
Grenfell Tower residents are asked to go to the Portobello Rugby Club at Walmer Road and make themselves known.