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Aylesbury Mosque Fire Sends Worshippers Running

Mosque Fire

2:42pm 23rd June 2011
(Updated 5:09pm 23rd June 2011)

Worshippers at the Havelock Street Mosque in Aylesbury were sent running out of the building this afternoon after a fire.

The Imam told Mix96 building work on the roof of the building, just off the A418 after lunchtime sparked a fire  causing worshippers inside to escape from the building.

The Imam said "everyone is accounted for and everybody managed to escape the fire unhurt, but until the Fire Brigade officially declare the building safe, we will have to look for somewhere else to pray".

Currently residential streets Fleet Street and Havelock Street are closed off for access for the emergency services.

Fraser Pearson from Bucks Fire and Rescue told Mix 96 "Four fire engines and 1 turn-table ladder are at the scene - we were called at 1.46pm to a fire in the roof. The roof looks to be badly damaged".

Crews from Aylesbury and Haddenham attended, along with a number of officers. At its peak there were about 25 firefighters and officers at the scene. They used two jets and a hose reel to put out the fire.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's emergency control room received a total of 12 calls to the incident.

Group Manager Mick Martin said: "A safe evacuation was carried out and the crews were quickly able to bring the fire under control before it took hold.

"Firefighters remained at the scene for an hour to help clear debris which had fallen through the roof and to provide reassurance to worshippers."

The fire has damaged an estimated 10 per cent of the flat part of the roof. The minaret and dome have not been damaged.

South Central Ambulance Service say three men, all contractors who were working on the building - did suffer minor injuries during the incident.  One injured his ankle after jumping from the roof and was taken to hospital. The other two came down by ladder. One suffered cuts and burns to his hands.

Deputy Local Policing Area Commander for Aylesbury, Chief Inspector Henry Parsons, said: “I would like to pass on my thanks to the local community for all their support to the emergency services throughout the incident.”

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