Washington-born TV architect George Clarke describes 'absolute hell' of London fire

Picture by Rick Findler/PA Wire
Picture by Rick Findler/PA Wire
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Washington-born TV architect George Clarke has described 'heartbreaking' scenes of 'absolute hell' at the tower block fire in London, which broke out next to his home.

Mr Clarke, who presents the Channel 4 TV show Amazing Spaces, lives in the shadow of the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in north Kensington, which has been ravaged by fire, causing a number of fatalities.

Those who have escaped described families trapped and screaming for help, some holding children from windows - others jumping from upper floors.

Mr Clarke told Radio 5 Live of the "absolute hell" he witnessed from outside his home.

"It's so heartbreaking, I've seen someone flashing their torches at the top level and they obviously can't get out," he said.

"The guys are doing an incredible job to try and get people out that building, but it's truly awful."

Mr Clarke captured the fire in a series of Instagram posts. In one he said: "All I'm watching now as the sun comes up is hell."

He added in the Radio 5 Live interview: "I'm getting covered in ash, that's how bad it is. I'm 100 metres away and I'm absolutely covered in ash."

The fire began in the early hours of this morning. Shortly after 6am, London Ambulance Service said 30 people had been taken to five hospitals.

More than 200 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze which was reported just before 1am on Wednesday. Firefighters were on the scene within six minutes.

Mr Clark said he only became aware of the fire when he awoke to the noise in the night.

"I was in bed and heard 'beep, beep, beep' and thought, 'I'll get up and run downstairs as quickly as I could'.

"I thought it might be a car alarm outside and saw the glow through the windows.