ABU DHABI // A man died after jumping from the 11th floor of a residential building to escape a fire in Abu Dhabi last night.
A civil defence official said another man also died inside the bathroom of an apartment. The cause was suffocation.
The blaze broke out on the 11th floor of the 15-storey building, known as Orchids Flower, on the corner of Al Falah and Muroor Road at about 5pm.
Firefighters spent two hours putting out the fire while crowds gathered outside and traffic came to a standstill. As well as the two dead, another two people were rescued from windows with ladders. The civil defence said a lack of safety in the building had resulted in the deaths of the men, who were both Arabs.
Col Mohammed Al Nuaimi, the acting director general of the civil defence, warned building owners not to make changes to layouts or ignore fire safety equipment required by law.
Angeline Pulmano, 42, a Filipina teaching assistant who lives on the 12th floor of the building, said residents were warned of the fire at about 5pm. "We're not allowed to enter the building," she said at 7pm. "The police are still there to check the entire floor."
A worker at the Safora Grocery on the ground floor said the building was about 30 years old."I didn't see the man jump off the building. Residents have been telling me that he's from Egypt," he said.
Police were last night still investigating the cause of the fire.