Residents at Grenfell Tower were told to ‘stay put’ inside their flats in the event of a fire.
Six people have been confirmed dead and 74 are being treated in hospital after the huge inferno engulfed at Grenfell Tower in north Kensington last night. A number are still missing.
It has emerged that a newsletter sent to residents advised them to stay in their homes in the event of a fire.
The letter read: ‘Our longstanding ‘stay put’ policy stays in force until you are told otherwise. This means that (unless there is a fire in your flat or in the hallway outside your flat) you should stay inside your flat.
‘This is because Grenfell was designed according to rigorous fire safety standards. Also, the new front doors for each flat can withstand a fire for up to 30 minutes, which gives plenty of time for the fire brigade to arrive.’
Signs inside the building repeated the advice to stay inside the building.
Speaking to BBC News, resident Paul Manakr said: ‘I managed to get out the building, not by a fire alarm, or something like that, it was by people down below screaming to people, don’t jump, don’t jump off the building.
‘Now, honestly I don’t know for certain if people jumped off the building to get away from the fire, but the main thing for me with this incident is the fact that the fire alarms didn’t go off in the building.’
Footage of the blaze shows huge flames engulfing the building as smoke bellows out.
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.
She said: “This is an unprecedented incident. In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never ever seen anything of this scale.”
Jody Martin, who arrived at the scene just as fire engines turned up, told the BBC: ‘I watched one person falling out, I watched another woman holding her baby out the window… hearing screams, I was yelling everyone to get down and they were saying ‘We can’t leave our apartments, the smoke is too bad on the corridors’.