DUBAI // A mattress and foam warehouse in the Al Quoz industrial area was gutted in a fire yesterday, a blaze that emitted huge clouds of smoke that were visible from as far away as Sheikh Zayed Road. Dubai Police officials said that no one was hurt. They said the cause of the fire is being investigated. The fire started at about 11am at Intercoil, which makes and distributes orthopaedic furniture. The company is in Al Quoz Industrial Area 4, a sector packed with large warehouses and factories.
The fire originated from a warehouse adjacent to the company's manufacturing unit. Witnesses described fire and smoke pouring from the building, threatening to spread to nearby units. "Everyone started running out from the neighbouring warehouses. It was a state of chaos," said Arshad Khan, a witness. Fire engines and ambulances arrived in about 20 minutes, witnesses said. Dubai Police also arrived and blocked all roads to the warehouse. Traffic was diverted and the neighbouring warehouses were evacuated. Strong winds were a concern for firefighters, who feared they might strengthen the fire and help it spread.
Meanwhile, Intercoil workers removed all flammable products from the premises. Factory workers were seen retrieving large blocks of foam from the building and throwing them into the road. The foam was later taken to other locations. The fire was controlled within 45 minutes, officials at the scene said. Intercoil management declined to comment. "The smoke was incredibly thick and you could feel the heat of the fire from 100 metres away," said Justin Clarke, a Dubai resident who stopped to take pictures when he drove past the fire.
Al Quoz is known for some of the emirate's biggest fires. In 2008, a massive explosion rocked Dubai after an illegal fireworks warehouse caught fire, killing workers and causing losses worth millions of dirhams. Civil defence officials struggled for days to control that fire and the smoke emanating from it. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com