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Neighbours help flat blaze family

Fundraising effort after mother and her two daughters fled home in dramatic rescue from eight-storey housing block

26 May, 2017 — By Koos Couvée

Inside the fire-damaged flat in Goswell Road

NEIGHBOURS have rallied round a mother who lost all her possessions after a fire gutted her Finsbury flat on Monday night.

The woman, named in an online fundraising page as Chez Yasmin, dramatically rescued her two daughters from the eight-storey housing block in Goswell Road, which was evacuated as thick black smoke poured out during the blaze. The fire brigade say it was started by a tea-light in one of the girl’s bedrooms around 9pm.

Witnesses saw the next door neighbour climb over the balcony in an attempt to rescue the children inside.

But by then Ms Yasmin had already pulled her daughters, aged 8 and 11 – one of whom was asleep in the bedroom – out and left the building. She was alerted to the blaze by a loud bang coming out of her daughter’s bedroom, the fire brigade said.

Around 25 people had left the block before the brigade arrived, and fire crews led an elderly woman to safety from an adjacent flat upon arrival to the scene.

Neighbours, who waited outside for up to four hours before fire crews let them back into their homes, praised firefighters for their “fantastic” response.

Gemma Connelly, 35, who lives directly above the flat, thought she could smell “burnt food” but soon realised there was a fire. “I was absolutely petrified,” she said. “I was terrified because we’re directly above.”

But neighbours have rallied round the family and are encouraging people to donate to an online fundraising drive launched by Ms Yasmin’s nephew, Daniel Mohamed. More than £1,900 has been raised.

No one was injured in the blaze.

The brigade was called at 9.17pm and had the blaze was under control an hour later.

Additional reporting by Sabrina Dougall

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