Muslims awake for Ramadan saved Grenfell Tower residents and spend the day aiding victims
Categories: Latest News
Thursday June 15 2017
According to witnesses, Muslims eating before the start of their Ramadan fast saved residents when a huge fire broke out in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning.
It is unclear whether smoke alarms inside the building were not heard or failed to go off, however, Muslims that were awake and eating their final meal of the day – late at night before starting the fast for Ramadan –reportedly raised the alarm.
According to Andre Barroso, “Muslims played a big part in getting a lot of people out.
“Most of the people I could see were Muslim. They have also been providing food and clothes.”
The head of fundraising at Islamic Relief, Zia Salik,told The Independent how he had been awake and immediately got to work from the moment he saw the blaze: “I live in the area so I could see it from my window,” he said.
Working with other local charities, Islamic Relief began to provide clothes, water and food for victims of the inferno who had been evacuated to community centres, mosques and churches across west London.
Salik reported that “There was a huge outpouring from the community to say ‘we want to do something’.
“So they’ve all just started to arrive at the mosque, we’ve just been trying to coordinate it.
“I think the mosque underestimated the response they’d get.
“They had a small room for storage, which has now overflowed to outside.
“Hundreds of people all day have been coming in bringing whatever they can.
“When something like this happens sometimes you do feel a bit helpless but at the same time we know that some people have lost everything.
“They’ve lost their homes, they’ve lost their belongings, they’re going to be without shelter for the night.”
Mr Salik said that he – like many of the local Muslims who have been working to aid the victims throughout the day – planned to continue deep into the night, despite not having eaten any food or drank any water since dawn due to Ramadan, and in 26C temperatures.
“I’m ok, it’s not a problem for us, we’re used to it,” he said.
“This will be all going on until the morning prayer, which is around 3am and then from tomorrow we’ll continue to keep working.”
West London residents have also been offering their homes to people displaced by the fire.
Posting on social media, dozens of people living in the area and further afield posted messages of support, offering food clothes and a place to stay.