Huge fire breaks out at building in UAE
A huge fire gutted at least two buildings in the Ajman One residential cluster of 12 towers close to the border with Sharjah on Monday night. Fire mainly damaged tower 1.
Officials could not immediately be reached for information on any casualties, but one official said tenants were being evacuated to safety.
Brigadier Saleh Saeed Al Matroushi, Director of Ajman Civil Defence, told Gulf News that civil defence teams were working to put out the fire.
The operations room had received a call about the fire at 9.45pm. Civil Defence, rescue and ambulance teams rushed to the scene. Traffic on roads leading to the area had come to a virtual halt.
Lieutenant General HH Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, rushed to Ajman to follow-up on the details of the firefighting operations, through the Command and Control Center at Ajman Central Operations Room at the Directorate General of Civil Defense in Ajman.
Bismillah, a Pakistani tenant of tower 8 in the complex said her three children rushed down 19 floors to safety. Tenants gathered around the complex as the buildings burned. "We are all very distraught. We have lost everything," she said.
Several units battled the huge blaze well into the night.
Flames are seen raging while the area has been cordoned off leading to huge traffic jam Ajman and Sharjah. Fire fighters were busy putting out the fire until late into the night.
"My flat is completed gutted," said another resident while wiping away tears. "I have lost everything including my documents and I have no place to stay."
Tower 6 was gutted by midnight as the inferno continue to rage through the building.
It didn't appear to spread to any other building after tearing through tower 8, 7, and 6.
Many tenants were in tears as the building burned. Huge crowds that gathered to watch the incident dispersed somewhat after midnight but many people continued to take pictures and videos.
"All I have left are the clothes on my back, " said an Indian tenant of tower 6, who lived on floor 22.
"My colleague is coming to pick me up. I am too disturbed to make sense of it all."
Buildings in the complex apparently untouched by the fire were empty as tenants had been evacuated.
"I am waiting to see if I will be let back in. Otherwise I will have to sleep on the beach tonight," said Katerina, a tower 3 tenant from Ukraine.
"I can't believe how quickly all this happened last. I saw the fire from my window and as a precaution grabbed my documents and left the building. It was not a huge fire then."
Fire trucks, police and ambulance units remained on the site. Police kept pushing forward the cordoned area away from the complex as fiery debris rained down.
People stood watching the flames well into the night.