Londoner Dana Ali, 30, told The Sun newspaper her parents Maria, 51, and Khalid, 61 had phoned her to say they were trapped.
"They said they’re in their living room, they’re closing all the doors, they can’t get out. They opened the main door and saw black smoke," she said.
"They couldn’t see anything so they closed the door back. And now I’m trying to call and they’re not answering."
Building resident George Clarke told the BBC of the scenes of horror as fire fighters tried vainly to contain the blaze.
"I’m 100 metres away and I’m absolutely covered in ash,” he continued. “It’s so heartbreaking, I’ve seen someone flashing their torches at the top level and they obviously can’t get out."
This article originally appeared on New Idea