DUBAI // Bosses at a textile company are today counting the cost of a fire that destroyed a clothing warehouse.
The blaze at Al Sana Fashions in the Al Quoz industrial area started shortly after 11am on Sunday, sending plumes of thick black smoke into the air.
Hundreds of workers from nearby offices and warehouses gathered outside or leaned from windows to watch the fire take hold at the building behind the Gold and Diamond Park.
One employee of Al Sana Fashions, who declined to be named, said the flames spread quickly through the warehouse. “It just caught fire half an hour ago and now it’s like this,” he said, gesturing at the flames.
Paramedics and fire personnel at the scene said no one was injured in the blaze. A manager of Al Sana, which operates a chain of fashion stores in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, said the cause was still not known.
“The fire started suddenly, we all left once we saw the smoke,” he said.
“Because it is clothes that caught fire, the clothes were like an accelerant. Now there’s not much left. It’s going to affect the company quite badly, because this is our only distribution base.”
He said it was not immediately clear how much stock had been lost, or of what value.
A worker in an office connected to the warehouse, said the blaze had taken everyone by surprise.
“It’s very scary,” he said. “I was not expecting this on a Sunday morning. I left all my belongings in there. My phone is in there.”
Firefighters at the scene could not immediately say what caused the fire. Police blocked off sections of the roads leading to the scene in both directions to allow emergency crews easy access.
The blaze was originally reported to have started in the Modern Bakery building, which is the unit next to Al Sana. A manager at the bakery said it had been unaffected despite the fire and thick smoke.
“The fire didn’t spread,” he said. “It’s also just textiles that are burning, so there are no chemicals that can affect our food.”
Social media networks were buzzing with reports of the blaze, with people posting photos of the smoke rising across the industrial area.
Sheikh Zayed Road had heavy congestion as motorists slowed to watch the smoke rising over the warehouses in Al Quoz. Residents using Twitter and Facebook warned of heavy traffic.
“Still getting bigger. Fire and smoke now billowing. So many rubber-neckers. Ridiculous,” said Twitter user KTO.
“Massive fire in Al Quoz,” tweeted Adam Langdell. “Seems to be right behind gold and diamond park... near the wooden furniture shops.”
Olly Wood said: “Epic fire in Al Quoz, just behind Gold + Diamond Park. Hope everyone’s ok. Avoid at all costs, traffic is horrific.”
Snehanshu Choudhary tweeted: “Looks like the worst is over #Al Quoz fire. Prompt action by the Police and Fire Brigade helped.”