Tuesday 20 March 2018

Students evacuated after fire at Islamic school

Police have launched an investigation after a fire was started at an Islamic school.

Emergency crews were called to the Darul Uloom Islamic School in Foxbury Avenue, Chislehurst, Greater London, last night.

Officers - who attended with London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service - said investigations were at an early stage but the fire was being treated as suspicious.

Two people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation but their ages have not been released.

Today, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Officers from Bromley are investigating a fire at the Darul Uloom Islamic School in Foxbury Avenue, Chislehurst.

"Police, London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service were called to the school at around 2350hrs on Saturday, 8 June.

"The fire was extinguished shortly after the arrival of London Fire Brigade.

"Two people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation; they were not taken to hospital.

"There was minor damage to the building.

"Enquiries continue into the circumstances of the fire. At this early stage it is being treated as suspicious."

No arrests have been made.

Today, the school said they did not want to comment yet and were "dealing with the parents".

The £3,000-a-year boarding school was established in 1988 with the purpose of producing "great scholars and Huffaz (people who have memorised the Koran) to preserve and transmit the eternal message of Allah".

Its website says: "The institution helps children to explore and develop their Islamic identity as a natural part of their mental, emotional and personal development.

"The school aims to prepare Muslim students to be good Muslims and responsible citizens; to embed in the student a sense of discipline; to enable them to grow up to become upright, respectable and worthy citizens of their respective countries."

The school was built in 1974 and comprises 130 boarding rooms in addition to classrooms, dining hall, assembly hall, prayer hall, gym, playing fields and car parking with 100 spaces, over a 10 acre site.

An extension was built in 2007 consisting of 18 classrooms, a science laboratory, a prayer hall and wudhu (ablution) facilities.

London Fire Brigade said the pair treated at the scene were men and there were no other injuries reported.

A spokesman said: "Around 128 people, thought to have been made up of pupils and staff, evacuated the building before firefighters arrived on the scene."

He added that 21 firefighters were involved and four engines.

The brigade was called at 11.43pm and the fire was under control by 12.37am, he said.

Press Association

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