Heroic residents of the Grenfell tower saved their neighbors by banging on their doors and guiding them to safety, it has emerged.
Local community centres and religious buildings have opened to help those who have lost their homes, and left with nothing but their pyjamas.
Some put their own lives at risk to rescue others.
Muslims awake due to Ramadan may have saved lives
Rashida, a local resident, told Sky News how Muslims observing Ramadan may have saved lives in the tower block, as many of them were awake.
She said: “Most Muslims now observing Ramadan will normally not go to bed until about 2am, maybe 2.30am, [when] they have their late night last meal. They do their last prayer.
“So most of the families around here would have been awake and I think even with the noise of the helicopters, it would have brought a lot of attention to a lot of residents, non-Muslim as well, [who] would have thought ‘something’s going on that’s not quite normal.'”
She spoke of how tight-knit the community was, and how many different nationalities lived in the tower.
She said: “It’s a very diverse area, we have all nationalities, all religions. We all live peacefully amongst each other, there is not much crime – [not] higher than anywhere else. You can walk around safely late at night… we all know each other. There is a very high population of Moroccans, and for some reason we all live close to each other. Everyone knows each other.”
Nadia Yousuf, 29, told BuzzFeed Muslim residents were among the first to notice the fire, as they woke up to prepare to break their fast.
“They saw it just after they woke up to eat”, she said.
The hero who saved family
A man known as Michael told Sky News of how he saved a young girl. “I wasn’t woken up by the alarms at all, they were very, very quiet.
“I was in bed, and I was on the verge of falling asleep and I smelt plastic. I woke up and looked around the flat, checked the plugs, everything was okay.
“I went to the window to smoke a cigarette, I opened the window, and I heard someone saying, it’s getting bigger, its getting bigger.
“So, I’ve got out to the hallway, I’ve looked through the spy hole, I’ve seen smoke everywhere, I’ve opened the door and the neighbours were there.
“People screaming, there were firemen saying ‘get down the stairs’, I’ve grabbed the little girl, I’ve grabbed my girlfriend, just in a pair of boxer shorts and a dressing gown, someone gave me these clothes, and this is it and now we are here.”
Crowdfunding to help residents get back on their feet as churches give shelter
A local church is giving shelter to those who lost their belongings and homes in the blaze.
David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, said: “If you can help with clothes, food, blankets, toiletries etc please donate to: St Clements Church, 95 Sirdar Rd, W11 4EQ”. The Rugby Portobello Trust is also accepting donations for residents.
Sikh gurdwaras have also started collecting toys, food and clothes for affected residents.
There has also been a crowdfunding site set up to help the residents. It has already raised £28,500.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea said there was a rest centre at Harrow Centre, Freston Road, while nearby St Clements Church was collecting clothes, food and water for those affected – many of whom had been forced to escape the building in their night clothes.
The chairman of Queens Park Rangers football club said he was enquiring as to whether their Shepherd’s Bush stadium, Loftus Road, could also be used to help. Tony Fernandes tweeted: “Our community team will be mobilised. We will do whatever.”
A youth and children’s charity based near the block of flats has also stepped in and offered help.
The Rugby Portobello Trust said they are “with many of the residents” and have asked people to “hold off on dropping anything to RPT until we can put together a list of what is needed”.
Former England rugby player Will Greenwood had urged the public to send emergency provisions to the trust, at 221 Walmer Road, London, W11 4EY.
The group also set up a Facebook event, urging people able to offer space in their homes to come forward.
The British Red Cross said its volunteers were also at the scene, with volunteers providing practical help and emotional support at a rest centre.
Meanwhile, a number of individuals have reached out via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to offer accommodation and transport help to those affected.
One woman, named Giselle, tweeted: “Just called [Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea] @RBKC and left my details. They are looking for emergency housing. I have offered my place. Do the same if you can £Grenfell”
Instagram user co.-lams posted an image reading: “Any residents of Grenfell Tower or Lancaster West Estate who need a local place to stay DM me.” Many others posted on the Rugby Portobello Trust event with contact details for accommodation.
Phone company EE have said people are welcome to use their stores in the local area if they need to contact anyone or use social media. They said the stores on Kensington High Street, Notting Hill, Queensway and the two in White City are closest to the incident.
Anyone concerned for loved ones in the blaze can contact the Met Police casualty bureau on 0800 0961 233.
Other places offered food and shelter for those in need.