London mosque fire: Britain Mosque Fire
Published: September 27, 2015
London mosque fire: Britain Mosque Fire, Police made two arrests on suspicion of arson this morning
Major damage was caused in yesterday’s incident which saw 70 firefighters called to the site at Morden, south London.
It took nearly six hours for the fire to be put under control and crews carried on working throughout the night to dampen it.
A spokesman for the Met Police said: “Police were called at 12.18pm on Saturday, 26 September, to reports of a fire at an ancillary building adjacent to a mosque on London Road, Morden.
“On Sunday, 27 September, a 16-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy were arrested on suspicion of arson.
“Both remain in custody at a south London police station.”
Firefighters have now revealed the iconic mosque building miraculously surveyed the fire.
Station Manager Philip Morton who was at the scene said: “This was a large fire and our crews worked hard in difficult conditions to confine it to the administrative buildings on the site and thanks to their efforts the mosque itself escaped completely unscathed.
“Throughout the incident we worked closely with the local community to ensure our damage control operations took into account the religious significance of the building’s contents.”
A London Fire Brigade investigation is underway to find out the cause of the blaze.
Some were already speculated it may have been started on purpose.
Around 70 firefighters tackled the blaze. An investigation has now been launched into how it started
Race relations activist Lee Jasper wrote: “Let’s hope this is not a religious hate crime. London is a deeply fractious city.”
Jordan Kelly said: “Bang out of order if someone purposely set the mosque in Morden alight on purpose.”
However, the mosque said at this stage it was waiting on the fire report to find out more.
Spokesman Basharat Nazir said: “Obviously there is some Islamaphobia globally but our community is living here very happily.”
He added the fire began in a secure area.
Mr Nazir added: “The two main things is there is no loss of life and the main mosque structure is completely safe, without even any smoke damage.
“That’s down to the firefighters who came in very quickly and dealt with the fire very professionally.”
Only service staff were in the Baitul Futuh Mosque at the time of the incident, but a day previous around 1,000 people were packed in.
One man was taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation.
The Ahmadiyya community launched a multi-million-pound campaign in February 1995 which funded the building of the mosque.
The dome stands 23m above ground level.
Plumes of smoke were seen from miles around following yesterday’s blaze
The 5.2 acre complex was completed in 2003. There is space for at least 10,500 people to pray, according to the mosque’s website.
Many have taken to social networks to tell of their shock at the fire, including London mayoral hopefuls Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith.
Labour candidate Mr Khan tweeted: “Awful scenes at Baitul Futuh Mosque. Thanks to @LondonFire for their quick response. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected.”
While Conservative MP Mr Goldsmith wrote: “Very worrying news about a fire at Morden’s magnificent Baitul Futuh Mosque. Hoping everyone there is ok.”
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