More than 100 firefighters have been tackling a major blaze at a hotel in west London which has forced dozens of guests and staff to be evacuated.
Crews from several fire stations were called to the Travelodge on the High Street, Brentford, at 02:52 GMT.
The fire started in the “bin room” on the ground floor of a neighbouring building and spread to the five-floor hotel.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) said there were no reported injuries.
The fire was brought under control shortly before 07:00 and the cause of the fire is now being investigated by the fire brigade and the Met Police.
Station commander Nathan Hobson said: “Firefighters carried out a systematic search of the hotel and around 160 guests and staff evacuated the building.”
He added that a “rest centre” had been set up by the local authority and the conditions had been “challenging”.
LFB’s assistant commissioner Graham Ellis warned people to avoid the Brentford High Street area.
“Fire crews will be damping down pockets of fire and carrying out salvage work throughout the morning,” he said.
One guest, who is from Barnsley and only gave his name as Nigel, said he initially thought the alarm was “a hoax”.
“We woke up and the fire alarm was going off, we thought it was a prank and maybe a few lads having a bit too much ale – but obviously it wasn’t,” he said.
“We come down the stairs and come outside and that’s where we saw all the bin storage in a blaze.
“Everyone was out really quick and everyone was fine, but we are all a bit tired and cold.”
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Another guest, Reg Williams, described the aftermath of the evacuation.
He said “some people panicked” and “there was a few small children”.
He said one firefighter came round taking names and room numbers, “just to make sure everyone was out”.
At the scene
Greg McKenzie, BBC News, London
The blaze is out now, although the fire brigade is still hosing down the building.
The hotel is just off Brentford High Street in the middle of a residential area, and consequently many people have been evacuated from their homes.
Fire alarms in neighbouring buildings were going off because the smoke was filling the air.
Many guests emerged from the hotel with only the clothes they had grabbed.
Buses were brought in to relocate guests to another Travelodge Hotel in Hounslow, but Mr Williams said there was not enough room for everyone. He said he had been told he would not be allowed back into the hotel until after midday.
In a statement, Travelodge said its guests were “being looked after”.
A spokesperson added: “Our team are now making arrangements for their future accommodation and support.”
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A survivors’ group has welcomed a report on the Grenfell Tower fire as a “forensic examination” with “clear recommendations” that could save lives.
The report, published on Wednesday, followed the first phase of an inquiry, looking at what happened on the night of 14 June 2017, when 72 people died.
It was critical of the London Fire Brigade’s response and said the tower did not meet building regulations.
The LFB said it was “disappointed” by some of the criticism of individuals.
The report condemned the LFB for “serious shortcomings” and systemic failures in its response to the fire.
Inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said the absence of a plan to evacuate the tower was a “major omission” by the LFB and more lives could have been saved had the “stay-put” policy been abandoned sooner.
Campaign group Grenfell United responded: “It is heartbreaking to read that more of our loved ones could have been saved that night if the building was evacuated earlier.”
The group expressed concern at the report’s finding that the LFB were “at risk of not learning the lessons from Grenfell”, adding that firefighters were “let down by their training, procedures, equipment and leadership”.
The senior leadership of the LFB “must face consequences for these failings if there is to be change”, it said.
The report said evidence from London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton that she would not have changed anything about the brigade’s response was “insensitive”.
Ms Cotton said many of the recommendations were welcome and would be “carefully considered”.
She expressed her “deepest sorrow at not being able to save all those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire”.
She added: “We welcome the chairman’s recognition of the courage, commitment and bravery of firefighters on the night, but we are disappointed at some of the criticism of individual staff members who were placed in completely unprecedented circumstances and faced the most unimaginable conditions while trying to save the lives of others.”
Other issues highlighted in the report included:
- A lack of training in how to “recognise the need for an evacuation or how to organise one”
- Incident commanders “of relatively junior rank” being unable to change strategy
- Control room officers lacking training on when to advise callers to evacuate
- An assumption that crews would reach callers, resulting in “assurances which were not well founded”
- Communication between the control room and those on the ground being “improvised, uncertain and prone to error”
- A lack of an organised way to share information within the control room, meaning officers had “no overall picture of the speed or pattern of fire spread”