British Prime Minister Theresa May has promised that there will be a full investigation into the cause of a fire at a 24-storey building in London. 

Twelve people died and dozens more were injured as a result of the blaze.

In a televised statement, Mrs May said: "In due course when the scene is secure, when it is possible to identify the cause of this fire, there will be proper investigation and if there are any lessons to be learned, they will be and action will be taken."

Earlier, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said questions will need to be answered over the safety of tower blocks.

Some residents said they had been advised they should stay in their flats in the event of a fire.

Grenfell Tower’s residents association had previously warned it was worried about the risk of a serious fire.

"These questions are really important questions that need to be answered," Mr Khan told BBC Radio.

"Across London we have many, many tower blocks and what we can't have is a situation where people's safety is put at risk because of bad advice being given or if it is the case, as has been alleged, of tower blocks not being properly serviced or maintained.

"It's very distressing, not just for those of us watching as lay people, but also very distressing for the emergency services.

"We declared a major incident very early, which meant not just the fire service but also the London Ambulance Service, the police and the others were involved at the scene."

More than 100 police officers were on scene, alongside 100 medics and 250 firefighters, he said.

Pressed on reports that residents had been advised to stay inside their flats in the event of a fire, Mr Khan said: "Thankfully residents didn't stay in their flats and fled to safety.

"One of the concerns that we have is it's a 24-storey building but for obvious reasons, with the scale of the fire, our experts weren't able to reach all the way to the top, so of course these are questions that need to be answered as soon as possible."


"These questions are really important questions that need to be answered," Mr Khan told BBC Radio.

"Across London we have many, many tower blocks and what we can't have is a situation where people's safety is put at risk because of bad advice being given or if it is the case, as has been alleged, of tower blocks not being properly serviced or maintained.

"It's very distressing, not just for those of us watching as lay people, but also very distressing for the emergency services.

"We declared a major incident very early, which meant not just the fire service but also the London Ambulance Service, the police and the others were involved at the scene."

More than 100 police officers were on scene, alongside 100 medics and 250 firefighters, he said.

Pressed on reports that residents had been advised to stay inside their flats in the event of a fire, Mr Khan said: "Thankfully residents didn't stay in their flats and fled to safety.

"One of the concerns that we have is it's a 24-storey building but for obvious reasons, with the scale of the fire, our experts weren't able to reach all the way to the top, so of course these are questions that need to be answered as soon as possible."


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Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick said the government has resisted calls to install sprinkler systems in high-rise blocks in the wake of the Lakanal House tragedy.

The blaze at Lakanal Flats, off Dalwood Street in Camberwell in 2009, killed a three-week-old baby, two children aged three and six, and three adults.

London Fire Brigade said the blaze - caused by an electrical fault with a television - began on the fourth floor of the 12-storey block and "spread rapidly" to the 11th floor.

Mr Fitzpatrick, who was a firefighter for 20 years, said: "We've been pressing for fire sprinkler systems in buildings where we think it's appropriate - certainly over a height level and in places where there is vulnerability, care homes and in schools - and Government has been resisting that for some time."

But he added: "There's obviously a huge number of questions going to have to be asked about what happened to Latimer Road but it's very early in the situation.

"It's a bit early to start pointing fingers, I would have thought."

An action group at the west London tower block said its warnings fell on "deaf ears" after it highlighted safety concerns.

The cause of the blaze, is not known, but a blog post from Grenfell Action Group in November 2016 said "only a catastrophic event" would expose the issues.

The group said there was only one entry and exit to the tower during improvement works at the block in Latimer Road and it had issues with evacuation procedures.

After the fire, the group posted: "All our warnings fell on deaf ears and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time."

The group claimed access to the building was "severely restricted" for emergency services and other vehicles and that residents were advised to stay in their flats in case of fire.

The tower block was recently refurbished at a cost of £8.7 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.

A communal entrance was also created along with new facilities for returning tenants, Grenfell Under 3s Nursery and Dale Youth Amateur Boxing Club.

Based in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, it is around half a mile from the Westfield shopping centre and close to many London Underground stations.

Kensington's new Labour MP Emma Dent Coad, who is a local councillor and a member of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said she had raised concerns with the authority about fire safety at tower blocks in the area.

"There have been a lot of concerns over the past few years on various fire issues," Ms Dent Coad told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"I have brought it up quite a few times. The blocks are of a certain age.

"Some of them have been refurbished, some haven't, and we have an ageing population."

She added: "In my ward, we have three tower blocks and all of them have had fires recently.

"The biggest concern is getting old people out because we have an ageing population and a lot of them live in tower blocks and it is a huge concern trying to get old people out of tower blocks who may not be very mobile."

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: "Lives have been lost, many people have suffered serious injuries and others will be made homeless as a result of the fire.

"...A full investigation will need to be undertaken at the first possible opportunity to establish exactly what happened and what can be done to prevent such an incident happening again."