Baby Thrown Out Window Of London Fire Caught By Bystander
An incredible story of survival has emerged from the catastrophic fire at west London’s Grenfell Tower, where a desperate woman tossed a baby out of a window and someone below miraculously caught the baby.
Early on Wednesday morning the 24-storey tower block was engulfed in flames, killing at least 12 people.
But somehow a tiny baby fell at least nine floors before landing in the arms of a stranger below.
Samira Lamrani told NBC News:
“A woman appeared at the window gesturing and trying to get somebody’s attention. She had the baby in hand - she was gesturing like she was going to throw the baby out.”
“She wrapped the child up in some sort of thick blanket, and then just dropped the baby out of the window.”
“The baby just sort of dropped in a straight line, and a guy just ran forward and the baby fell into his arms.”
Meanwhile dozens of people have gathered for a vigil in the shadow of the Grenfell Tower.
Many were moved to tears after a moment of silent contemplation outside the Notting Hill Methodist Church in west London on Wednesday evening.
The Reverend Mike Long invited those present to light candles to place on the steps of the church.
He then played Amazing Grace on his flute as members of the crowd sang along.
"There are times when all the words we can say are not adequate and sometimes words fail us because no words can do justice to how we feel, or what we have seen or what has happened. Today is one of those days.
"What we can simply do is look to all that we have seen today which is good, which is fabulous - people getting together.
"Let light triumph over all that is rotten, that is desperate and that defies our understanding."
A council has admitted it received complaints over the refurbishment of a west London tower block which has been ravaged by a deadly fire, after an action group said its warnings fell on "deaf ears" when it highlighted safety concerns.
The cause of the huge blaze on Wednesday which killed at least 12 people at Grenfell Tower in north Kensington is not yet known.
But residents had been concerned about safety, and Grenfell Action Group said in a blog post in November "only a catastrophic event" would expose the issues.
Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough, Nick Paget-Brown, confirmed the tower had undergone a major refurbishment, including the addition of external cladding, and that the council had received safety complaints.
"Now clearly when you do that there are difficulties, problems, complaints, logistics to resolve and it is undoubtedly the case that the council received some complaints about the way the work was being conducted.
"But we will need to look much more closely at how much of that corresponds to the cause of today's fire."
The tower block was recently refurbished at a cost of STG8.7 million ($A14.6 million), with work completed in May last year.
The exterior of the 1970s-built tower was modernised with cladding and replacement windows, while additional homes were added using vacant space in the building.
Management of the tower was passed from the council to the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation in 1996 after the tenants and leaseholders voted to manage their own homes.
AAP/The Daily Beast