A fire has broken out at the mosque ‘Baitul Futuh’ located in London Road in Morden, in the south of the British capital, on Saturday, report a local media.
The smoke rising from the fire was seen for miles around, and police had to close a part of London Road, also advising motorists to avoid the neighborhood. The cause of the blaze is not yet known.
The police said there was no information about people inside the building, and couldn’t give any information about the damage of the “large fire” at present.
Baitul Futuh mosque was completed in 2003, and its construction reportedly cost £5.5million ($83.5 million). It is believed to be the largest in Western Europe with a capacity to house up to 10,000 people.
“There’s really thick smoke at the minute. I saw it start from my window. There was a tiny bit of smoke, some alarms,” a local resident, Julian Roman, told the BBC. “Now there are fire fighters, ambulances, and hundreds of people.”
“About seventy fire fighters were reported to battling the blaze at the mosque”, said the London Fire Brigade.
‘Thankfully they have managed to confine the fire to the administrative buildings on the site and the mosque itself is unaffected. We have worked closely throughout the incident with the local community to ensure our damage control operations take full regard of the religious significance of the building’s contents’, saidstation manager Philip Morton.
Fire fighters are expected to remain at the mosque overnight while the fire continues to die down.
A middle-aged man was taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation, according to a spokeswoman for the London Ambulance Service.