While Americans are reeling from the news of a gunman opening fire on Republican Congressmen, the British are dealing with their own massive tragedy.
One of the worst fires in years destroyed a 24-story building in west London early Wednesday morning, killing at least a dozen people and injuring about 70 more, the Telegraph reports. Authorities said a “significant number” of people still are missing, and the death toll likely will increase; the building had 120 apartments in it.
Miraculously, a witness at the scene said a baby’s life was saved from the blaze when a woman dropped the child out of a window about 10 floors up and into a man’s waiting arms below, the Daily Mail reports.
Here’s more from the report:
Samira Lamrani said she saw a woman try to save a baby by dropping it from a window ‘on the ninth or 10th floor’ to waiting members of the public below.
She 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.’
Reports do not have any more details about the baby, its family or the man who saved the child.
Images from the fire show a horrifying, chaotic scene. Photos show the 24-story building engulfed in flames and smoke as dozens of firetrucks and firefighters worked frantically below to douse the blaze.
A local resident, Tamara, told the BBC that she heard people screaming in terror inside the flaming building.
“There were people just throwing their kids out saying ‘Save my children,’” Tamara said. “Within another 15 minutes the whole thing was up in flames and there were still people at their windows shouting ‘Help me.’ You could see the fire going into their houses and engulfing the last room that they were in.”
Other witnesses said they saw a young boy, probably about 5 years old, also being tossed out of a window about five or six floors up and caught by someone on the ground.
Fire authorities said the blaze started around 1 a.m. Some reports say the fire may have started with a malfunctioning refrigerator; however, authorities have not confirmed the cause.