A group of young men who ran into a burning building to rescue people after an explosion near their community centre in east London have been hailed as heroes.
The fire broke out at a tower block in Bethnal Green just before 6pm on Thursday, when the teenagers were on their way to their Young Black Men project hub nearby. After hearing a loud bang from across the street and seeing the smoke, they raced to the scene.
From just £3 per week
Sakariye Digaale, known as Zack, was outside the youth centre with his friends when they heard the explosion.
“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,” Digaale, 18, told the Big Issue.
“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.”