Members of the Jewish community have rallied round those affected by a devastating fire at a Golders Green kosher supermarket on Sunday.
A pregnant woman and her husband were among those who lost possessions, and their family dog, in a fire at Kay’s Deli on Golders Green road.
The blaze triggered a rapid response from the Jewish community, with a Facebook group being been set up to assist victims, and donations being made to fundraising campaigns.
Members of the group, which has over 700 members, have been offering everything from clothes and toiletries, to pre-cooked food and accommodation.
Speaking to Jewish News one of the co-ordinators, Sara Benbassat, said she is “amazed by how everyone has come together”.
“It’s really warming to the heart that it doesn’t matter if they’re Jewish or not. People as a community pull together. People have just wanted to give without limit.”
Benbassat added that two of the fire victims Charlotte Perren, who’s 15-weeks pregnant, and her husband Alex had lost all their possessions in the fire. By Monday “she had pretty much everything she needed to start again.. it’s been a real show of unity from the Jewish community.”
Following the blaze on Princess Parade, in which five people were rescued by firefighters and a number were hospitalised with smoke inhalation, a fundraising campaign was launched to assist victims, which has raised over £500 so far.
The organiser, Lorenzo Romero-Borrett, wrote on the page that Alex and Charlotte’s “dog Daisy tragically died from smoke inhalation whilst saving their lives, which allowed them to alert the other residents of the building, further saving more lives”.
He set the fund up to help Alex “reclaim his lost possessions and to have a proper burial for the dog”, adding that the money raised will “be shared equally” among those affected,
Following the blaze, London Fire Brigade (LFB) Station Manager Paul Fitzgerald, who was at the scene, said; “Crews used specialist cutting equipment to break in through the shop’s roller shutters at the front of the building and worked quickly in very difficult and smoky conditions to rescue three people via ladder and lead two to safety.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Rose, Barnet Police borough commander, said of the fire: “At this time there is nothing to suggest it is suspicious but we and the LFB are keeping an open mind.”
Jewish volunteer ambulance service Hatzola and neighbourhood watch group Shomrim also assisted emergency services.
Shomrim gave out more than 300 slices of pizza to “brave staff” in emergency crews, telling Jewish News they “were on scene all day assisting and supporting those who were evacuated from the nearby buildings which included many young families.”
A whole section of Golders Green Road was cut off throughout the day, forcing the closure of a host of other shops including Reich and Slice pizza shop.