London fire: ‘If it wasn’t for Ramadan there would have been more casualties’

Local resident says fire started when Muslims were breaking their fast

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Wednesday 14 June 2017 16:38
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Local to Grenfell Tower says without Ramadan, more people would have died

The devastating blaze that swept through Grenfell Tower in west London would have killed more people if Muslims marking the holy month of Ramadan had not been awake to help rescue tenants, a resident has said.

At least six people were killed and 74 injured in the fire at the 24-storey tower block in Latimer Road, after fire engulfed the building in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Ahmed Chellat, who lives near the building, told Sky News: “If it wasn’t for Ramadan, there would have been more casualties,” as more people would have been asleep at the time of the emergency.

Mr Chellat, a relative of missing residents from the Grenfell Tower in west London, told the broadcaster the fire happened when “everybody is awake to have their last supper,” before opening their fast for the day.

“That’s why so many lives were saved. If it wasn’t for that, there would have been more casualties,” he said.

“As soon as we came out, there was no police cordon or nothing, we went straight to the building… and we can see kids waving, people shouting, screaming, because there were lights still on.”

Emergency services were on the scene within six minutes of the alarm being raised and 200 firefighters were called in to tackle the blaze.

One local resident was filmed praising members of the Muslim community in the aftermath of the fire.

“If it wasn’t for all these young Muslim boys round here, helping us, coming from Mosque, people would’ve [been] dead, more people would’ve [been] dead,” the woman is seen saying.

“They were the first people with bags of water giving to people, helping people. They were running and telling people."

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