Tied bedsheets and babies thrown out of windows: Remarkable tales of escape from the Grenfell Tower fire

·Freelance Writer

Remarkable and miraculous stories of escape are emerging from the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Firefighters have been battling to tackle the blaze in the 27-storey tower block in Kensington this morning, with residents resorting to desperate measures to reach safety.

One witness astonishingly watched a baby thrown out of a “ninth or 10th floor” window to waiting members of the public below.

Residents were seen tying bedsheets together to escape their flats (PA)
Residents were seen tying bedsheets together to escape their flats (PA)
The building was used for homes and a boxing club (PA)
The building was used for homes and a boxing club (PA)

Samira Lamrani said: “People were starting to appear at the windows, frantically banging and screaming.

“The windows were slightly ajar, a woman was gesturing that she was about to throw her baby and if somebody could catch her baby.

“Somebody did, a gentleman ran forward and managed to grab the baby.”

MORE: Grenfell Tower block fire: Eyewitness describes resident falling out of window
MORE: London tower block fire: Residents group says its warnings about safety ‘fell on deaf ears’

Ms Lamanri recounted other extraordinary acts of escape as residents desperately tried to escape.

She added: “My daughter’s friend said she observed an adult who made some sort of homemade parachute and tried to lower himself out of the window.”

Another resident, called Zara, said she saw a woman throw her son, who was about five years old, from a fifth or sixth floor window to escape the blaze.

Eyewitnesses spoke of babies thrown out of windows to people on the ground below (PA)
Eyewitnesses spoke of babies thrown out of windows to people on the ground below (PA)
Residents had raised concerns about the safety of the block before the fire (ITV News)
Residents had raised concerns about the safety of the block before the fire (ITV News)

She told LBC: “One woman actually threw her son out of the window. I think he’s OK.

“I think he might have just had some broken bones and bruises.”

Residents in the upper floors were seen shining torches in a plea for help, while others were spotted tying bed sheets together to form makeshift ropes.

Residents helped each other to safety (PA)
Residents helped each other to safety (PA)

Some 50 people have been taken to hospital after the blaze engulfed the 120-flat block in just 15 minutes.

Six people have so far been confirmed dead but that figure is expected to rise.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton earlier said there had been a “number of fatalities” but could not say how many due to the size and complexity of the building.

Eyewitnesses spoke of babies thrown out of windows to people on the ground below (PA)
Firefighters are still battling to bring the blaze under control (PA)

The charred structure still had pockets of flame rising from several storeys as desperate efforts to bring the blaze under control continued this morning.

The cause of the blaze has so far not been determined but Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “Lives have been lost, many people have suffered serious injuries and others will be made homeless as a result of the fire.

“…A full investigation will need to be undertaken at the first possible opportunity to establish exactly what happened and what can be done to prevent such an incident happening again.”

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