Grenfell Tower fire survivors describe horrors trying to escape: Part 1

Residents who lived in the London public housing tower say they fought through smoke, tried to save neighbors, but many never made it out.
9:20 | 07/15/17

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Transcript for Grenfell Tower fire survivors describe horrors trying to escape: Part 1
It been one month since the deadliest fire in Britain history and questions loom as ominously as the charred tower standing over London. How a refrigerator fire managed to engulfed 24-story Grenfell tower in 80 minutes and taking the lives of people left a community in disbelief and outrage. Eyewitness accounts from survivors that take us inside the horrifying inferno. Here is James Longman. Woken up by the noise from outside. Fire. Fir fire. People shouting help, I'm on the 14th floor. Please. Red flames and the smoke was very, very intense. I've never seen a fire like this. Never seen people die like this. It felt like an action/horror movie. But you're in it. It's been a month since the fire at Grenfell tower lit the skies over London. This wasn't meant to happen. Doesn't deserve it. At least 80 lives stolen in the darkness, 120 homes destroyed. Families ripped apart. Now, the public housing tower once home to about 600 residents stands a dark shadow over this city, a looming reminder of the heartbreak and harrow wisdom from that night. Right before 1:00 A.M. The calls came in. The cause a faulty fridge on the fourth floor. They attended this within six minutes. This pyfire was different. You don't get fires spread that quickly. This went from the fourth floor to the 18th floor in eight minutes. 20 after 1:00, 11th floor resident got a could telling her to get out. We woke up the children. My son wanted to put his shoes on. I said we haven't got time. Just get out. When I opened the door, big black smoke. I started to panic. Three floors alive, he woke up in his unit where he lived with his girlfriend and daughter. Getting things together like blankets. Went around every room in the house screaming fire, fire, help, please, please, I got a child here, help, please. Down stairs onlookers watched in horror. It was armageddon. People running around. Lots of people just standing and staring and watching the horror unfold in front of their eyes. The screams that I heard, they were screams of desperation, screams when you have nothing else to do, those were the screams. The firemen came in and said go to the safest spot. Bring some of your they boneighbors into your house. I can remember one of them sitting on the bed. The little boy that died, on top of the bed and my daughter on the same bed with him. Fire brigade guy opened the far door exit to go through the stairs and he just telling people to get out. So literally going, rushing down the stairs just reciting Koran to calm me down a bit. It's only when it get to the bottom of the floor I saw how serious it was, the fire and how quick it was spreading. My husband said just don't look. You can't. It was memorizing and there was nothing we could do. We knew it was killing people. You could see people on the top floor with flashlights, torches, towels and voices. For pierce and Tonya Thompson, their bedroom window was a front row seat in the deadly hours. Particularly on this side here, the west side, I remember someone up there probably the second floor down. Right up there. The second floor down. Yeah, that's where we really seen the people. This girl shouting up at the building. Get out! Get out! I mean, sort of a few times. Still inside, he readied his makeshift rope from bed sheets. I tied it around the window, tied it so hard, as hard as I could and people told me no, what you're doing, don't do it but I wasn't looking to die in there and I told my partner to pass me my daughter. My daughter wasn't having it. She was crying. Like what are you doing? So now my daughter isn't coming and now I get back into the flame because I'll not going down with my daughter. So now I'm finding it difficult to get back in because I'm dangling from the 14th floor. His neighbors pulled him back in saving his life before losing their own. I said run, I grabbed my Mrs. By hand. My daughter tied to my back already and I didn't look back. I don't know. We just ran. 14th floor, trust me, I gave up on the tenth floor. God took me down stairs. What was going through your mind? In arabic -- Catastrophe. Yes. We are on our way to the mosque. It's become a refuge for witnesses and for survivors of that fire. We come upon a funeral. Witnesses say the victim suffered smoke inhalation and died after making her way out of the tower. So many here touched by tragedy. And who is it that your missing? One of my brother-in-law, my wife brother. His wife and three children. Age 21, 16 and 8. When you think about them now, I mean, how does this -- It's completely wasted life. They shouldn't disappear just like that. If they were precautions, they would still be alive. Inside, we meet hassan, he sits with a photograph of his family and daughters 5 and 3. All perished in the fire. My daughters -- I'm not going to cry because my dad is coming. That's all I can say. She -- Hassan was away caring for his sick brother in Egypt on the phone with his wife as the flames were at their doorstep. I told her immediately can you go down? She told me no. The people tell her you have to stay there. I tell her don't worry, just stay inside, close the door and everything will be fine. But there is no help at all. No help. Okay. Open the front door. You're going to bring the smoke in. You're not going to be able to breathe. Maybe someone outside. Ronya posting this harrowing video on Facebook live. We're stuck on the 21st floor. Hello? . There are too many people stuck upstairs. You put the photo there. Can you describe them? Were they like, your family? What will you remember about them? I remember my two daughter every day spoebke to me. We waiting for you and I'm not going to forget anything. This is going to be in my life, in my heart until I die. Heartbreak engulfedi so many lives. How did a fridge fire consume an entire building in minutes? When we come back, the investigation and alarming findings as outrage over the government's response grows.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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