Dubai High-Rise Badly Damaged by Fire

Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Families who fled a Dubai Marina apartment building that was engulfed in flames on May 13 face an anxious wait to find out the damage to their homes and belongings.

Dozens of tenants escaped the fire at The Zen, but it spread through most of the structure within minutes, as high winds fanned the flames in dry, dusty conditions.

No injuries were reported - many tenants were at work at the time - but the tower appears to be badly damaged, with images showing charred balconies and broken windows.

Some described grabbing their passports, but are unsure of the extent of the damage to their homes.

Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, head of Dubai Civil Defence, said five residents and several pets trapped in the building had to be rescued by fire crews.

He said the fire started outside the building rather than inside an apartment, but did not specify whether that was on a balcony or elsewhere.

Resident Araf Mohammed lives on the fifth floor and told The National that he left his apartment and ran down the fire escape when he smelled burning.

"When we came down [the stairs] and there was black smoke everywhere. There is damage, but thankfully we got out early," he said.

Community spirit was in strong supply, as bottles of water were handed out to those left standing by the roadside.

Parked cars remain covered in ash, soot, and debris from the fire. Although civil defense crews had extinguished flames, the building was still smoldering at 1 p.m. as dampening-down operations continued.

The focal point for evacuees from The Zen and the surrounding buildings was the nearby Trocadero Cafe. It has been providing a vital service to those facing an anxious wait.

An outdoor seating area at the café acted as a makeshift checkpoint for residents, signing out from the building and passing their details on to authorities to be informed about what happens next.

Scores of police and emergency workers were on the scene to help people affected and to control the area.

For more on this story, go to The National


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