UK: Muslim Community Helps Survivors of Grenfell Tower Fire
As has been widely reported by the world media, on Wednesday, 14 June at 1:30 AM, the 24-story Grenfell Tower in London erupted into flames, resulting in the death and injury of many residents. The number of dead is currently listed at 79 people, with the number expected to rise.
Tenants had complained about safety concerns within the tower for years. The Independent reported that residents, “didn't hear alarms as the fire swept through the 24-storey tower block in West London.”
Some residents, however, were still awake because of their observation of Ramadan and were able to bang on their neighbors’ doors to help get them out of the burning complex. Local Muslims also helped survivors of the fire by donating food.
Many people in the community banded together, working to deliver help where necessary. One family opened its event space, the Maxilla Social Club, as a makeshift evacuation center.
CNN.com reported that after opening its doors, “donations from the community began to flood in. The first round of goods that arrived were donated primarily by local Muslim residents, who showed up with generous amounts of food and water.”
Other centers, churches, and mosques have opened their doors to donations for the survivors of the Grenfell fire as well. Centers have also welcomed survivors rendered homeless from the fire.
According to the Atlantic Black Star, “The complex was part affordable low-income housing and part private housing.” Thus, many minorities and the poor were residents of the building.
Many of these people are currently homeless, injured, dead, or still unidentified. Sky News has reported that the building housed anywhere from 400 to 600 residents.
Although the death toll continues to rise, without the help of the local Muslims the number of dead and injured may have been much greater. The holiday of Ramadan involves fasting during the day and eating only after sunset, as well as performing specific prayers into the night.
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