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Fire engulfs London apartment block, at least six dead, 69 injured


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GRIM OUTLOOK
London fire put out, no more survivors expected

The death toll in the London high-rise fire has risen to at least 17 people on Thursday, a number that is expected to go up as authorities continue to search through the wreckage with the bleak hope of finding any survivors, police said. 

London's Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told Sky News that authorities do not expect to find anyone else alive after the blaze and that it was too early to speculate on how the inferno that engulfed the 24-floor building started.

“Tragically now we are not expecting to find anyone else alive," Cotton told Sky News. “The severity and the heat of the fire will mean that it will be an absolute miracle for anyone to be left alive.”

There's nothing to suggest the fire was terror-related, London police commander said. Specialist dogs will also be searching the 24-story building, according to Cotton. 

Cotton added that authorities have finally extinguished the last pockets of flame and are trying to secure edges of the building for a fingertip search. Sky News reported that some parts of the building were still too hot for firefighters to go in.

More than 200 firefighters worked through the night and parts of the building were still seen as being unsafe. Now that the smoke has cleared, the public could only gape at the huge burned-out hulk in the working class, multi-ethnic neighborhood.

Cotton praised her crews for containing the blaze, but added they were left “traumatized” by the experience. She said firefighters witnessed people jumping and throwing their children out of the building.

Up to 600 people lived in 120 apartments in the Grenfell Tower. Forty-four households received emergency accomodation. She promised for a "proper investigation" in the cause of the blaze. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said many questions must be answered about safety for the scores of other apartment buildings around the British capital.

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Stay put? Deadly London fire puts scrutiny on high-rise rule

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By Saturday, officials counted 58 people missing and presumed dead, including 30 deaths previously confirmed.

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New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, whose department is among the most practiced in the world at fighting fires in tall buildings, says he believes in the stay-put policy but "what happened in London, in which a fire went from the fourth floor to the 21st floor in what we understand was in 17 minutes, is unprecedented."

 

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