People 'are standing in the streets in tears' – Emma Keeling at the scene of horrific London tower block fire

Our Europe Correspondent is in the British capital as the city wakes up to a fatal and tragic event. Source: Seven Sharp

'It caught up like a matchstick' - man describes how he and his elderly aunt escaped London apartment block fire

A man has described the moment he and his 68-year-old aunt escaped their home after fire ripped through a residential tower block in Ladbroke Grove, West London today.

The resident lived on the 17th floor, and told journalist Assed Baig from UK's he could smell smoke but did not hear any alarms ringing. 

Follow 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of the London fire here.

The man said he looked out the window and saw fire "blazing" and climbing up the building swiftly enveloping cladding. 

"It just caught up like a matchstick." 

"I woke [the aunt] up... and we started to come down the stairs, step by step. There was already smoke in the stairwell."

"As soon as we came outside and looked at the building, the whole building on one side... all the way to the top was on fire."

He said he saw someone on the 19 or 20th floor looking out of the window, "he didn't know what to do, the smoke was already strong when I was getting out, god knows how it would have been minutes after."


Video: Skin-crawling video shows mass of caterpillars infesting suburban backyard in Canada

A skin-crawling video of piles of caterpillars infesting a suburban backyard is unfortunately nothing unique across Canada at the moment.

A wide stretch of Canada from Ontario and Quebec is experiencing a massive outbreak of tent caterpillars that could last two to three years, the Ottawa Citizen reports.

"What we're seeing is the early stages of what could be a couple of years of outbreak," City of Ottawa forester Jason Pollard said.

"It's something thats happening provincially. Typically with this bug, we're looking at cycles of every 10 or 15 years and then we're in it for two, sometimes three years, maybe even longer."

Although the caterpillars are harmless to humans, the sheer mass of them consuming vegetation and clogging backyard drains and gutters has been a huge inconvenience this past Canadian spring.

This is not to mention the cringe factor of having the critters dropping onto your head from overhanging trees.

"There were webs across my face, all over my hands in my eyes," Ottawa resident Chris Latreille told the Ottawa standard.

"You look up and you'd see five or six coming down at you. They were coming down like Spider-Man!"

However, Rob Lee of the Ottawa Field Naturalists Club was keen to point out the little caterpillars were very pleasant creatures at an individual level.

"If you've got small kids, have them look closely. They have beautiful turquoise on them and the eastern tent caterpillar has orange on it, too," Lee said

"They're really pretty things — if you've got one or two. If you've got thousands of them, you're not going to be happy."