Several injured as Massive fire erupts in Sharjah High Rise Residential Tower

Square


A massive fire engulfed a residential tower in Al Nahda in Sharjah on Tuesday night. 7 people were treated at the scene and 5 were rushed to the hospital.

The quick response by Sharjah Civil Defence teams averted a major disaster. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

Initial reports say the fire broke out on the 10th floor of the Abbco Tower at 9.04pm, moving up quickly due to cladding.

Tenants were evacuated from the 49-storey building which consists of 38 residential floors, two floors for services and nine levels of car parking. Each floor has 12 flats.

The fire was brought under control two hours after civil defence received the first fire alert. Personnel from Mina and Al Nahda fire stations attended the scene, while the Sharjah Police Air Wing was also called into action. National Ambulance dispatched five vehicles to the scene, an official said.

One side of the building was almost entirely destroyed.

Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, Director-General of Sharjah Civil Defence, told Gulf News the cooling operation was under way.

Col. Al Naqbi added that all residents were evacuated before the fire spread, which helped avoid serious injury and prevent the blaze from spreading to neighbouring buildings.

The police used a drone to check if there were any people trapped inside, said Colonel Dr. Ali Abu Al Zoud, Deputy Director General of Central Operations of Sharjah Police.

Flaming debris
A number of vehicles parked below the building were damaged by the blaze. Chunks of burning debris could be seen falling from the burning exterior shell of the building and drifting to the ground.

Residents of the nearby buildings were immediately evacuated for their safety.

From the scene

Fadhelallah Hassoun, who has an apartment on the 15th floor, told Gulf News he had heard building’s smoke alarm and assumed it was false. But when his neighbour told him there was fire, he rushed quickly and took his cat and rest of his family out of the building.

Hassoun said they faced difficulty leaving the building as it was dark and emergency exits were blocked by furniture. He said tenants were panicking and pushing each other while trying to escape, adding that some residents were injured.

Amal Heiwi, a resident on the 28th floor, said that after iftar, she heard a police siren but didn’t know there was a fire until her neigbour knocked the door and told them to leave.

“We left everything inside as we didn’t know what to do,” she said.

Jahanzib Jameel, another resident living in the tower, said he could not think straight. “I only picked my wallet as my thoughts were on trying to get my wife and children out of the apartment,” he said.

Jameel lives on the 21st floor of the building in a two-bedroom apartment. He said he does not have personal contents insurance and has lost his belongings.

At first the family took their Emirates ID cards passports and face masks and took the lift but then they changed their mind and decided to get out at the 20th floor to take the stairs down to the ground.

“We don’t know where we will stay the next few days. Right now we are waiting in the car park for the fire to be doused,” she added.

Petal Jaison, who lives in the next door Sahara Plaza, said the fumes were blowing into her building. Speaking to Gulf News, she said: “The entire building was on fire. A smaller building next has also caught fire.” Sharjah Police and firefighters were inside trying douse the fire. At 10.40pm she said the building was still on fire. Residents and those in the shops below have been evacuated, she said.

Victor Solanki, who stays four buildings away, said he was having dinner when he heard the police siren. Soon the fire trucks arrived and when he stepped out on his balcony Solanki said he saw a ball of fire engulf the building. He added: “It was such a gory sight. Carpets on fire were falling from balconies. Curtains too. I am standing down to see if we can help people out.”

Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund told Gulf News: “Should there be any Filipino affected by the Sharjah fire, please do not hesitate to contact the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai through their WhatsApp numbers as follows: 056-5015755; 056-5015756; 056-4177558.”

“We stand to assist our kabayans (compatriots) who are victims of this terrible incident in terms of their personal documentation, including getting new passports or any pertinent documents. They can contact our ATN (Assistance to Nationals) desk hotline,” Cortes added.

Short circuits, cigarette butts, random storage and poor electrical connections were the major causes of fires that took place in Sharjah last year according to a senior official.

News Courtesy : Gulf News