Statement from NFCC Chair following Grenfell Tower fire

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in London, the Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Roy Wilsher has expressed his thoughts and deepest sympathy for everyone affected by this horrific and tragic incident.

The 24-storey, 120 flat block, caught fire in the early hours of the morning. More than 70 people are receiving hospital treatment and six people have lost their lives. The first reports of fire in the tower, in Latimer Road, on the Lancaster West Estate, came in at 00:54 BST. More than 40 fire engines and 250 firefighters have been in attendance to tackle the blaze.

NFCC Chair Roy Wilsher commented: “This is one of the most serious and most horrific fires I have seen in recent years; my thoughts are with the residents, their families, and people waiting for news of loved ones. My thoughts are also with London Fire Brigade and all emergency services who responded to this incredibly difficult incident. While these incidents are rare, when they do happen they can be catastrophic.

“Firefighting in high rise blocks can be incredibly challenging; crews train extensively to attend and respond to these type of incidents quickly, however they can be very complex .At this stage I do not wish to speculate on the cause of the fire or procedures in place. The most important factor is ensuring the safety of those who were trapped, ensuring they are receiving the best medical treatment and also putting measures in place to ensure people have somewhere to stay at this incredibly difficult time.

“The NFCC will continue to work UK fire and Rescue Services to assist landlords to ensure our guidance is constantly evolving to reduce the number of high rise fires.  The government has also offered the Mayor of London all the assistance it can.”

At this time crews are still working at the scene and in the building. The Met Police has set up an emergency number on 0800 0961 233 for anyone concerned about friends or family. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said a "major incident" had been declared.

Follow live updates on the BBC News website and via London Fire Brigade

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