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Heroic black teenagers save residents from burning building

Voice Online
Monday August 8, 2022

Firefighters tackle the deadly blaze in east-London (Getty)

A group of black teenagers have been praised for their heroic efforts in rescuing people from a burning build in east-London.

A blaze erupted from a tower block in Bethnal Green on Thursday around 6pm after a loud explosion went off. 

The teenagers, who all attend The Young Black Men project, heard the noise as they were on their way to attend the community centre before jumping into action.

Speaking to the Big Issue, Sakariye Digaale, known as Zack, said: “There were five of us, we all had different roles. I said I’d find disabled people and another friend was pointing people to the exits.

“We went up the floors knocking on the doors telling people to leave the building. A lot of people were shocked, they thought we were trolling them, so it was a struggle to explain to them we weren’t joking.

“I heard that there was a guy on the fourth floor who I had heard was deaf and blind, so I was trying to go to him to rescue him out of the building. So I put him on my back and took him down the stairs.”

The 18-year-old added: “Being a Muslim, we’re trying to help guys. That could have been a dad, that could have been anyone. And everyone’s thinking I’m a hero now and I’m thinking this is normal!”

Zakariya Ibrahim, 18, also ran into the building to save its residents and told the Big Issue: “I just know if I had my nan or mum in a building I wish people did that because nowadays I’ve seen people only care for themselves so I hope this changes people and it becomes a domino effect where everyone starts to help in any way.”

Up to 100 firefighters and fifteen fire engines attended the fire which took eight hours to be finally subdued in the early hours of Friday morning leaving a second-floor flat with significant damage.

Mr Hassan said he was “so proud” of the young group for their heroic actions during a time when “too often the narrative is different” for young black males in the media. 

Paul Green, station commander, said: “Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus rescued one man from a second floor flat. He was taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews.

“Another three people were led to safety by crews using fire escape hoods and a further person was assisted from the building. They were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and three were taken to hospital.” 


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