Muslims awake for Ramadan saved lives in London blaze

Muslims awake for late-night Ramadan meal saved lives in London blaze
2 min read
14 June, 2017
Muslim residents awake for Ramadan's late-night meal were the first to raise the alarm when a devastating blaze devoured the Grenfell Tower in West London, their actions saving many lives.
At least 50 people have been injured with multiple fatalities reported. [Getty]
Muslim residents who woke for the late-night Ramadan meal known as sahoor were the first to raise the alarm when a devastating blaze devoured the Grenfell Tower in West London.

At least six people have been confirmed dead in the fire with more than 70 injured, police said, but the action of the Muslims in the block has likely stopped the death toll being even higher.

Dozens of fire engines and 200 firefighters tackled the blaze in the early morning which gutted the 24-storey building.

Survivors of the fire said that building's fire alarms were not working but they were instead woken up by neighbours who were observing Ramadan and warned them of the blaze.

One woman visiting her daughter from the Philippines told The New Arab that residents had no idea what happening until other neighbours started banging on their doors.

"Most Muslims now observing Ramadan will normally not go to bed until about 2am maybe 2.30am," another local resident, Rashida, told Sky News.

"So most of the families around here would have been awake and I think even with the noise with the helicopters, it would have brought a lot of attention to a lot of residents non-Muslim as well that would have thought something's going on that's not quite normal."

Another resident, Andre Barroso, told The Independent that "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."

Nadia Yousuf told BuzzFeed that Muslim residents were among the first to notice the fire, as they woke up to prepare to break their fast.

"They saw it just after they woke up to eat," she said.

There has been a huge outpouring of help and solidarity from the local community to aid those affected by the fire.

Muslim-led initiatives such as An Noor Cultural & Community Centre said they were at hand to help those affected by the blaze, while the al-Manaar mosque has also offered temporary shelter to those who lost their homes.

Another rest centre was set up at the Harrow Centre, while nearby St. Clements Church was collecting clothes, food, and water.

Rugby Portobello Trust said it was also collecting supplies.