Fire ravages ethnic Greek community elderly home, hospital in Istanbul

A fire on Thursday ravaged a well-known elderly home and hospital operated by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul for the ancient metropolis’ remaining ethnic Greek community.

Footage showed flames burning much of the top storey and roof of the Valoukli district building.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew statement

In a later statement regarding the blaze, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stated that: “Our Diaspora received a major blow today. One of its most important charities, in which our elderly brothers found care and warmth, suffered considerable damage from a devastating fire. We praise God for the fact that we did not have any victims, and we thank the state and local authorities and fire brigade officials, the workers in the nursing home and the nearby hospital, as well as all those who voluntarily helped. What matters is human life. Buildings, facilities, and material things can be restored. We feel pain for what happened, but we will overcome this ordeal as well. Once again, we thank from our hearts all those who have helped in this difficult time and all those who are ready to assist us in repairing the damage. We are touched by their interest, and especially by their participation in every way in dealing with this critical situation. We thank them for being on our side. God bless them”.