London tower-block residents warned for years of fire disaster dangers
A huge blaze engulfed the 24-storey Grenfall tower block in the Latimer Road area of West London just before 1am, with 200 firefighters and 40 fire engines sent to tackle the blaze.
At least 50 people have been injured with reports of multiple fatalities.
The Grenfall Action Group issued a statement in November 2016 saying they believed only a "catastrophic event" would expose the "ineptitude and incompetence" of the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), which owns the building.
The group said a major fire disaster caused by faulty wiring was only narrowly avoided in 2013, with residents long complaining of woeful fire safety standards in buildings run by the KCTMO.
In 2015, a fire ripped through another KCTMO property in nearby North Kensington, the Adair Tower, causing mass panic but minor casualties.
In the aftermath, the London Fire Brigade found that the KCTMO had not been properly monitoring fire safety measures and issued an order to improve safety measures in staircases and provide self-closing devices for the tower block's front doors.
A further audit by the London Fire Brigade of the nearby Hazelwood Tower, also owned by the KCTMO, found similar breaches of health and safety legislation.
The fire investigation team had ordered grills on the fire escapes to be covered over, as they accelerate the spread of smoke and fire, but this never happened.
"The Grenfell Action Group have reached the conclusion that only an incident that results in serious loss of life of KCTMO residents will allow the external scrutiny to occur," the group wrote in 2016.
It added: "They can't say they haven't been warned!"
The KCTMO said that the cause of the fire, which is as yet unknown, would be fully investigated.
Flames ripped through all floors from the second to the top of the Grenfall building, which contains around 130 apartments.
The London Fire Brigade said that a structural engineer is monitoring the stability of the tower amid fears it may collapse.
Firefighters are making "steady progress" up to the top floors of the building.
Witnesses said they saw residents shouting desperately for help after being woken up by the smell of burning, while residents said no fire alarm was sounded, Reuters reported.
"I looked through the spy hole and I could see smoke everywhere and the neighbours are all there. There's a fireman shouting 'get down the stairs'," one of the block's residents told BBC radio.
"It was an inferno."
Rashida, a local resident, told Sky News, that Muslims observing Ramadan were among the first to notice the fire as many were awake for the Suhoor, or pre-dawn meal.
"So most of the families around here would have been awake and I think even with the noise with the helicopters, it would have brought a lot of attention to a lot of residents non-Muslim as well that would have thought something's going on that's not quite normal," she said.
Agencies contributed to this story.