London inferno: 'The baby just fell straight down'
"THE mum swayed back. That was the last we saw of her."
Those are the chilling words of an eyewitness who watched in horror as a woman tossed her baby out the window of the Grenfell Tower inferno on Wednesday morning.
Samira Lamrany, who lives in a building adjacent to the west London flats, told news.com.au the woman leaned out the window and dropped the baby.
"I can say with 110 per cent certainty that I saw a baby being thrown out the window from about the ninth floor at least," she told news.com.au as firefighters worked to free those still believed trapped on the top floors of the 27-storey building.
"It just fell straight down and a man came forward to catch it. People were cheering and screaming at the same time.
"The mum swayed back and that was the last we saw of her."
Ms Lamrany was speaking from the scene, shortly after London police confirmed a "number of fatalities" from the fire that started shortly after 1am local time and engulfed the residential tower.
She said it was not clear what happened to the baby or her mother after that.
Other witnesses told news.com.au they watched people jump from the top floors of the building after becoming trapped by flames and smoke.
Eliane Lara spoke through tears as she told of witnessing fire take hold of the north Kensington flats. The neighbour said she felt "powerless to help".
"I heard commotion outside at 1.30am and thought it was someone arguing. It was so intense that I went outside. It was a horrible scene, you could hear people screaming for help. You could hear a woman yelling: 'Help, I have my kids'.
"Only in movies you see that sort of thing, not something you forget. The screaming of people, it's distressing to hear people calling out for help and you can't do anything.
"There was somebody up there with a phone shining the light. You could see the fire spreading across. You really hope they got away but I feel deep down they didn't."
Another neighbour, Zorah Jolly, said her husband woke her at 1.15am and "saw a person jump from the building". Residents said they believed at least two people had jumped.
Police told news.com.au that people remained trapped inside the building as many as seven hours after the fire started.
Pictures and videos from the scene show residents trapped inside their homes waving towels and flashing lights in a desperate bid for help.
Police have not revealed the cause of the fire but witnesses told news.com.au it started when a fridge exploded on the first floor.
It's not clear how many people were killed in the blaze and police have not put a figure on the number of missing.
At least 200 firefighters and 40 engines responded to the fire. The London Ambulance Service was also in attendance with 20 crews in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
This afternoon, as the search for those still missing or trapped continues, thick soot falls from the sky. The smell of smoke is everywhere.