NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A fire ripped through a building housing a mosque and a deli in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Saturday morning.
Firefighters were called at 5:59 a.m. for the blaze at 986 Gates Ave., the FDNY told CBS2.READ MORE: Annual Juneteenth Festival In Bedford-Stuyvesant Takes On New Meaning In 2021
The building houses the Sunshine Express Deli and the Brooklyn Broadway Jame Masjid and Islamic Center.
The fire started inside the deli on the first floor. It was raised to two alarms, but was brought under control at 7:33 a.m., the FDNY said.
As CBS2’s Jessica Borg reported, Kasson Kassim has worked in the family-owned business since it opened in 2012. He was heading to the store when the fire stopped him in his tracks.
“It’s like I was dreaming,” he said.READ MORE: Georgia Man Arrested For 2020 Rape Of Woman Who Was Dragged Into Queens Alley
Heavy smoke spread upstairs to the mosque, where prayer services were just about to end. Prayer books and furniture inside were destroyed.
“It’s like we’re helpless. We are in the street now,” president of the mosque Smuglz Hussein said.
The mosque, which has served the community there since 2004, has 250 members, who are now struggling to find a new place to worship for the holy month of Ramadan, which starts in a few weeks. It is now boarded up.
“It’s horrible, it’s horrible. It’s a disaster, I don’t know. We’re like almost crying,” Hussein said. “People are asking, ‘Where are you going to pray?’ So I said, ‘I don’t know.”MORE NEWS: Tropical Storm Claudette Batters Gulf Coast With Heavy Rain And Flooding
There were no injuries in the fire and the cause was under investigation Saturday, the FDNY said.