By News Desk/AFP
Muslims living near and in the London tower which was gutted by a massive fire early Wednesday morning are said to be among heroes who saved lives because they were awake for sehri.
Many residents who were sleeping said they didn’t hear alarms as the fire swept through the tower block. They were alerted by fellow residents, some of them Muslims who were among the first to notice the fire.
Muslims were among the first on the scene as people were evacuated from the tower.
“Muslims played a big part in getting a lot of people out”, said Andre Barraso while speaking to The Independent. “Most of the people I could see were Muslim. They have also been providing food and clothes.”
A woman speaking to Sky News said, “Most Muslims now observing Ramazan will normally not go to bed until about 2:00am maybe 2:30 am … until they have their late night last meal. They do their last prayer. 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.”
“Muslim boys saved people’s lives. They ran around knocking on people’s doors. Thank God for Ramazan,” a local resident told HuffPost UK.
Khalid Suleman Ahmed, a Muslim man speaking to HuffPost UK said, “No fire alarms went off and there were no warning. I was playing PlayStation waiting to then smelt smoke. I got up and looked out of my window and saw the seventh floor smoking.
“I woke my auntie up, then got clothes on and started knocking on neighbours’ doors. Every house opened except two — I saw the other guy later on so only one family unaccounted for. My next door neighbour was fast asleep,” he said.
“The whole corridor went black with thick smoke. I didn’t think it was serious at all me and my auntie thought it was an isolated incident but we’d just evacuate just to be safe. When we went out and were taken by the firemen to a safer place then we saw that it still hadn’t reached our house — 20 minutes or so later our house was gone. The firefighters were very quick. They immediately started work.
“People were calm walking out but when they realised loved ones were missing or unaccounted then they started to panic. Once we were outside it started to spread more.” He added further that he would “be up this late on a Friday night possibly but never a random midweek night unless it was Ramazan.”
At least 12 people perished on Wednesday after a massive inferno tore through a London apartment block, with witnesses reporting terrified residents had leapt from the tower and dropped their children in a desperate bid for survival. As smoke continued to billow from the gutted building, survivors voiced anger over longstanding safety fears at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower, which was home to between 600 and 800 people.