Fearless Muslim worshippers risk lives to rescue hundreds of women and children from tower block blaze

HERO Muslim worshippers “risked their lives“ to storm a burning 18-floor London tower block and rescue hundreds of sleeping residents from a fire.

The group raced from late-night prayers at Madina Mosque after spotting the blaze on the eighth floor of Gooch House at 2.40am last Thursday in Clapton, East London.


They charged to the top floor and banged on doors yelling “fire, fire” as they spent an hour evacuating families and children.

It came just two weeks before the second anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster in West London, which killed 72 people.

Ahmed, who lives on the seventh floor, told the Hackney Gazette: “They helped my mum downstairs while I took my wife and checked on an elderly resident on the first floor who is recovering from cancer.

"They made sure everyone got out. They knocked on each door until someone opened.

“There was six or seven of them and they were only young. If it wasn't for them we would never have got out.”


The group evacuated residents from the 80-flat block before firefighters arrived.

Ahmed hailed the mosque worshippers’ heroism as "a really important show of community spirit”.

He said: “They broke their way in not knowing what was inside. It could have been a lot worse.

“It shows there are still people willing to help others and risk their own life."

This is the Islam people don't read about. You sacrifice yourself for your neighbour.

The worshippers had been fasting for Ramadan, but raced up and down the stairs to warn people.

It is believed a cigarette caused last Thursday’s fire on a balcony, which was badly damaged.

One man from the blazing flat was treated for smoke inhalation and the flat suffered smoke damage.

One of the hero worshippers Zakariya Ahmed, 24, from Clapton, was Mosque in Lea Bridge Road with three pals when he spotted the blaze.

Zakariya climbed a wall and smashed a window to enter Gooch House and warn tenants.

We were not thinking about [the fact that] our lives might be at risk. I had nightmares of Grenfell at the back of my head

He told the Hackney Gazette: "Our purpose was to help our neighbours out. Being a Muslim it's a norm – it's what we're taught.

"I had nightmares of Grenfell at the back of my head."

Mosque chair Mohammed Sidat said he was “very proud” of the group and was going to prepare a big dinner for them after Ramadan.

He said: "They were very brave and ran right to the top floor. They didn't think for their safety and were very courageous.”

"They did amazing and it's because of Islam. This is the Islam people don't read about.

"You sacrifice yourself for your neighbour."

Ahmed said fleeing residents were “shaken up” and “crying” over fears of another Grenfell disaster.

He said: “I was watching people run down stairs with kids in both arms."

Mavis Holsworth, who Ahmed helped down from the first floor, wrote a letter of thanks to the mosque.

She wrote: "Without thinking of danger to themselves, they went from top to bottom waking people.

"Our thanks and blessings are with them all."

Watch Manager Adam Mosely of Homerton Fire Station said the fire was out when crews arrived as the occupant had tackled it.

He added: “Thankfully they were not seriously injured, but we would always advise people to leave their property immediately upon discovering a fire and to call 999.

“If you smoke, it is also important to ensure your cigarette is disposed of carefully by stubbing it out, preferably in an ash tray.”



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