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Two trans women and gay man targeted in suspected ‘anti-LGBTQ arson attack’ in East London

“It is being investigated as a suspected hate crime.”

By Emily Maskell

Whitechapel fire
Whitechapel fire (Image: London Fire Brigade)

An East London home belonging to two trans people and a gay man was “intentionally set on fire,” it has been claimed.

The fire started at around six in the morning in Whitechapel last Friday (14 April),

The Met Police told MyLondon that a stairwell from the fourth to the fifth floor was destroyed by fire. They added: “There are no reports of injuries at this time.”

A GoFundMe crowdfunder has been created to “aid Novaya, Harper and Bart… following a targeted hate crime that took place.”

Model and writer Munroe Bergdorf shared the fundraiser to her Instagram with the caption: “It is being investigated as a suspected hate crime.”

“It took 4 fire engines [and] 25 fire [fighters] to get the blaze under control,” the fundraiser continues. 

“Met Police issued a statement saying the fire is being ‘treated as suspicious.’

“If Novaya had not been awake to hear an explosion from her window at the other end of the flat, the outcome would have been fatal.”

The fundraiser also details how none of the building of flat’s fire alarms sounded. Therefore, those who were sleeping were totally unaware of the fire. 

“If the fire brigade had arrived five minutes later the fire door would have entirely burnt through, resulting in all three people within the property to be exposed directly to the fire.”

London Fire Brigade told Attitude: “The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Brigade and Metropolitan Police.”

“This ongoing environment of transphobic hate perpetuated by the UK government and media is putting lives on the line,” Munroe added in her post. 

“Please donate what you can and share widely.”

Attitude has reached out to the Met Police for comment.