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London Muslims Played Big Part in Rescue Grenfell Tower Fire Victim

London Muslims Played Big Part in Rescue Grenfell Tower Fire Victim
Fire and smoke billows from Grenfell Tower in west London / EPA
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LONDON - Muslims who were awake for Ramadan have been hailed as heroes after helping to save their sleeping neighbours from the horrific Grenfell Tower fire.

Residents who had stayed up for Suhur - the meal between 1-2am before Muslims begin fasting again - saw the inferno break out just before 1am.

Muslims told of how they smelled smoke in the early hours of Wednesday morning and began running around, frantically banging on people's doors to wake them up.

They were dubbed a 'lifeline' in helping to get people out of their flats, amid claims that fire alarms and sprinklers were not working in the west London block.
 
Residents who had stayed up for Sahur - the meal between 1-2am before Muslims begin fasting again - saw the inferno break out just before 1am
 
The trapped, some of whom are still inside, were heard begging for their lives while waving white towels, torches and mobile phones.
London Muslims Played Big Part in Rescue Grenfell Tower Fire Victim
Khalid Suleman Ahmed, 20, who lives on the eighth floor of Grenfell Tower, said he would not normally be up so late but was waiting for Sahur.

"No fire alarms went off and there were no warning. I was playing PlayStation waiting to eat sahur 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 1 family unaccounted for. My next door neighbour was fast asleep," he told HufPost UK.
  
Sahur is before the first prayer, Fajr, which would have been around 2.40am on Wednesday morning, according to the London Central Mosque Trust.

They were dubbed a 'lifeline' in helping to get people out of their flats, amid reports that fire alarms and sprinklers were not working in the west London block

Rashida, a local resident, told Sky News: "Most Muslims now observing Ramadan will normally not go to bed until about 2am, maybe 2.30am, when 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 of the helicopters, it would have brought a lot of attention to a lot of residents, non-Muslim as well, [who] would have thought 'something's going on that's not quite normal," she added. 

Nadia Yousuf (29), also said that Muslim residents were among the first to alert neighbours to the blaze as they woke up to prepare to break their fast.

"They saw it just after they woke up to eat," she said.
London Muslims Played Big Part in Rescue Grenfell Tower Fire Victim
The nearby St Clement's and St James' church also opened its doors to people who were evacuated as well as local Sikh temples. A number of Islamic cultural centres and mosques like the Al-Manaar Mosque have opened their doors to help those affected.

The culural heritage centre wrote on Facebook: 'Al-Manaar Mosque and Centre are open for use as a temporary shelter by anyone affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Anyone of any faith or no faith is most welcome to walk in to have some rest, sleep, and or have some water and food. Al-Manaar staff and volunteers will also be trying to deliver water, dates, and other emergency essentials to the affected area. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.'

The 27-storey Grenfell building, which was built in 1974 but refurbished last year, has an average of six flats per floor lived in by council tenants and a smaller number of private owners or tenants
London Muslims Played Big Part in Rescue Grenfell Tower Fire Victim
Residents of the destroyed Grenfell Tower claimed that fire alarms didn't work, sprinklers failed and the only stairwell used as an exit was blocked.
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