Archbishop Makarios of Australia has authored a statement of solidarity on behalf of the Archdiocese ahead of the road to recovery after the devastating Valoukli nursing home fire.
“Our distress over the fate of the elderly residents, patients and staff at the foundation, was quickly followed by a sentiment of relief after the news of the on-time evacuation,” an excerpt of the statement reads.
Praising the Ecumenical Patriarch’s reassurance “we shall overcome this struggle”, Archbishop Makarios has stated the Archdiocese’s commitment to contribute towards the “healing of wounds” caused by the fire.
The fire broke out on Thursday at the nursing home housed in the building complex and destroyed its roof before being brought under control about two hours later.
Over 100 residents and patients were transferred to a different building as part of the emergency evacuation.
No casualties or injuries were reported, while the extent of damages is yet to be announced in detail. The fire is suspected to have been caused by an electrical fault.
The Mayor of Istanbul Ekrem Imamoglu visited the scene and received a message of support by Athens Mayor Costas Bakoyiannis who committed on behalf of the city council to support the recovery.
Greece’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andreas Katsaniotis had a phone conversation with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and said the Greek state would be ready to contribute to reconstruction works.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew thanked authorities and volunteers for helping to put out the blaze expressing relief there were no victims.
“We thank the Lord we did not mourn any victims, and we thank state and local government authorities, as well as firefighters, nursing home and the nearby hospital staff, and all volunteers, for helping save the residents and for fighting to put the fire out. Human lives are important; buildings, facilities, material things can be restored,” the Ecumenical Patriarch said on Thursday.