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6 people killed in London high-rise blaze

SIX people, including a 3-week-old baby, were killed and 30 people had to be rescued when fire ripped through a high-rise apartment building in London yesterday, emergency services said.

London Fire Brigade and police said the dead were three adults and three children - a 3-week old baby, a 6-year-old and a 7-year-old.

The brigade said 18 fire engines and more than 100 firefighters were called to the blaze in the Camberwell area of south London at around 4:20 pm. (1520 GMT).

The fire started on the fourth floor and spread quickly to seven floors of the 12-story building, part of a large 1960s public-housing project.

"It was shocking to see the quantities of smoke and flames," said Sarah Gresty, who lives nearby.

One of the firefighters, Paul Glenny, said London's current summer heat wave may have helped the fire spread.

"I've been in the job for 30 years, and I've never seen anything like it," he said. "The hot weather and the fact that people's windows were open made the fire what it was."

The fire brigade said 30 residents had been rescued from the building "in extremely difficult circumstances."

Police said 12 people were being treated in local hospitals.

Four hours after it began, the fire brigade said the blaze was under control and investigators were on the scene to determine its cause.


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