DUBAI // A major clean-up operation was under way today after a blaze badly damaged oil and chemical warehouses in the Al Quoz industrial area. The fire started at around 2.30am yesterday at a property operated by United Foods Company. Four branches of Dubai Civil Defence were called to the scene, near Interchange 2. Fire crews on retractable hydraulic arms were still dousing the flames with a mixture of water and foam almost eight hours later.
Plumes of black smoke could be seen rising over Dubai from first light. Hours later, residual white smoke rose from the facility's metal corrugated roof that had melted in the heat. A manager at United Foods Company, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the blaze began in a warehouse that contained raw materials and then spread to an adjacent facility that stored "highly combustible products". The factory produces Aseel ghee, Safi oil, margarine, and Nawar cheese and butter.
He estimated the damages could run into millions of dirhams. Although speculating that the cause could have been an electrical short, he said officials at the company were waiting for Dubai Police to conclude their investigation into the cause. Capt Ahmed al Kindi, of the Al Quoz branch of Dubai Civil Defence, said there were no injuries because the factory was closed when the fire began. "We got a call about the fire about 2.30, we were here all night, but we have stopped it," he said.
A total of 20 firemen were involved in fighting the fire. Mr Kindi said the cause would be known after police completed their investigation. Firemen used a mixture of water and foam to douse the flames. "We have to use foam to put out the fire because of the oil," said Mr Kindi.
He said their strategy was to contain the fire in the warehouse so that it would not spread to nearby warehouses.