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London high-rise fire witness: The building lit up 'like a candle'

A resident of the London apartment building that went up in a deadly fire said there was "no alarm in the building."
/ Source: TODAY

A resident of the London high-rise that went up in a massive blaze early Wednesday morning said he barely escaped with his aunt and girlfriend before "real disaster" struck.

“The building caught fire like a candle,” said Mesrob Kassemdjian, who was up watching a movie when he heard sirens approaching the building.

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“We looked outside and saw the fire trucks, got spooked. I went outside to check the lifts and check for activity. It seemed quiet but I could smell the smoke,” he told TODAY on Wednesday.

Kassemdjian said he noticed smoke coming from the floors below.

“I looked out the window, I could see the flames coming out from underneath really rapidly and we tried to get out of there,” he said.

Authorities have confirmed at least six deaths and at least 50 people were injured. More than 250 firefighters attended to the building, which Kassemdjian said lacked an integrated fire-alarm system.

Kassemdjian and his girlfriend awoke his aunt and headed to the stairwell, alerting his neighbors along the way.

“We were able to move with kind of some order but right behind us, apparently chaos broke out,” he said of the few minutes it took to reach outside. “I feel like we were just minutes away from real disaster, because my aunt is an elderly lady and she needed the time to get down.”

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Kassemdjian said although he doesn’t know all of the residents in the large building, most know “each other by face.”

“It’s full of families, it’s full of children,” he said of the building's residents. He has since spotted many of his neighbors, but added there were many others he did not see. "I don’t want to think the worst," he said, "but it’s really worrying."