Dubai’s latest skyscraper fire
“It was really scary,” Maki said. “You could hear almost explosions . . . and there was debris flying around.”DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES—A residential skyscraper in Dubai caught fire on Wednesday in the densely populated Marina district, sending plumes of smoke into the air and pieces of the building’s facade tumbling below.
A fire that broke out at the 76-storey Sulafa Tower in Dubai Marina by noon on Wednesday, engulfing several floors, was put out in three hours.On receiving information about the fire, the operations room of the Dubai Civil Defence, despatched fire fighters from Al Barsha, Al Rashidiya and Karama, Al Ras to the site.The fire which erupted at the 60th floor of the building soon spread to the 70th floor. The debris falling from the building caused another fire on the 35th floor which spread to the 45th floor.
Major-General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director of the Dubai Civil Defence said the fire spread to the lower floors through the balconies which had inflammable materials like furniture and clothes.The Civil Defence in coordination with the Dubai Police evacuated the building in no time; and no casualties have been reported.However, the inside of the building is intact as the automated fire sprinklers and fire fighting system sprang into action. The fire mostly damaged the balconies, he added.Major-Gen Al Matroushi said fire fighters arrived at the scene within seven minutes by which time the residents had started to move out due to the fire alarm. The area has been cordoned off and residents will be allowed inside the building only after it is deemed safe.
Major-Gen Al Matroushi added that the cause of the fire will be investigated. He praised the Dubai Police and Civil Defence officials who rose to the occasion. The Dubai Police did a good job at evacuating people from the building. Some of the apartments were locked, he added.
‘I just ran down’
Hassan Mohammed, a resident of the building said he had just returned from office when he heard the fire alarm. “I took the stairs and ran down,” he said.Jasmine, another resident said she was sleeping when officials knocked on her door. “I dressed up and found that almost all residents had been evacuated. The Dubai Police and Civil Defence officials came so fast and put out the fire and saved our lives and belongings.””I just came home and heard noise and saw fire engines,” said British expat Jack Maidment, who lives in a nearby building. “I came out to the balcony and saw smoke near the top of Sulafa Tower.””It got bigger and bigger, and a crowd started to form on the street below,” he added. “It really erupted and we saw the orange of the actual flames coming out, and bits of debris falling off the building.”Maidment noted that firemen rushed into the building and were helping individuals come out. “As of 3.45pm, the fire seemed to be under control, with less smoke coming from the affected floors.One nearby resident, who did not wish to be named, expressed concern at the fact that there was another major fire in Dubai Marina following the blaze at the nearby Torch Tower in February 2015.
“I was standing just here watching that happen, too,” she said. “I just hope people learn from these fires. On the other hand, the firefighters got here very quickly,” she added. “If they hadn’t, this might have been much worse. It’s a difficult but important job.”Lebanese music composer Edmond Redd said he noticed the fire from his office building in Media City.”Debris was flying down, and some went into the building at the 30th or so floor,” he said. “Then smoking started coming from there, as well.”
According to Skyscraper Page, an online database of tall structures, the 75-storey, 285-metre high Sulafa Tower was completed in 2010 and is the among the 25 tallest structures in Dubai.
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