Evening Standard photographer Jeremy Selwyn describes tower block inferno as ‘like something out of a warzone’

An Evening Standard photographer who watched a raging fire consume a 24-storey tower block has described the horrific scenes as “like something out of a warzone”.

Jeremy Selwyn said witnessing Grenfell Tower engulfed in flames as residents screamed for help was “one of the worst things I’ve seen” in 30 years at the newspaper.

He arrived at the Notting Hill social housing block at 3am on Wednesday as flames tore through the building.

Jeremy’s powerful picture of the inferno taken from a neighbouring tower block led the Standard print edition’s coverage of the tragedy, in which at least six people died.

In a televised interview with the BBC, he told of arriving to “scenes of carnage.”

He said: “I parked nearby, walked towards the scene to see the whole tower block engulfed in flames.

“It was one of the worst things I’ve seen in 30 years of being a press photographer for the Evening Standard.

“I felt helpless. When I arrived it was just carnage. I could hear screaming. I couldn’t do anything. What can you do as a photographer?”


Jeremy Selwyn’s photo on the front of today’s Evening Standard

He added: “It looked like a scene from a warzone. I can’t describe it in any other way. It was shocking and it still is. It’s hit me for six, to be honest.”

Firefighters battled flames through the night after the alarm was raised just before 1am.

Some of the hundreds of residents inside the building reportedly leapt from the tower as others, trapped inside, desperately tried to make ropes from sheets or used lights on their phones to signal for help from windows and the roof.

Jeremy said the harrowing scenes would stay with him.

He added: “It wasn’t a pleasant night. I’ve walked away from it but it’s still there, I can see it. I feel like I’m still there.”

The photographer described watching in horror as the flames consumed the tower with devastating speed.

He said: “I arrived at 3am and it wasn’t engulfed in flames, it was sort of half covered on one side. But then I just watched it get light and it became completely engulfed.

“As you can see in my picture, nearly every floor was alight. Within half an hour it became completely engulfed.

“Then sun came up behind it and it was an extremely eerie scene with the smoke and the sunshine.”


Evening Standard photographer Jeremy Selwyn 

He also hailed the roughly 200 firefighters who put their life on the line to battle the inferno.

“The acts of the bravery there were just beyond belief,” he said. 

“I’m just hoping that the numbers of dead people and injured just stays down as much as possible.”

The Met confirmed at least six people were confirmed dead and warned the figure is “likely to rise”. Police added that it was set to be “some time” before victims could be identified.

NHS England added that a total of 79 people are being treated in hospital, with 18 of those critically injured.


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Source : http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/evening-standard-photographer-jeremy-selwyn-describes-tower-block-inferno-like-something-out-of-a-a3565206.html