x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Abu Dhabi building evacuated following shisha fire

Police say the fire was caused by a shisha that was left next on a small desk with books.

Emergency personnel surrounding the building off 15th Street in Abu Dhabi, where a fire broke out. The National
Emergency personnel surrounding the building off 15th Street in Abu Dhabi, where a fire broke out. The National

ABU DHABI // A small fire broke out in a building off 15th Street in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

Although no injuries were reported, police said the fire was caused by a shisha that was left next on a small desk with books.

"The person living in the apartment thought the shisha had been put out," police said. "So they left but the nearby desk and books caught fire."

He said the fire was only detected after the building alarm went off.

The apartment was on the fourth floor of building 31 and the tenant was not home at the time of the fire.

Police evacuated the building before firefighters reached the scene. Firefighters broke down the door to the apartment and put out the fire.

"There was a smell coming 30 metres before I reached my building," said Afeef Akram, a Syrian resident who has been living on the second floor for 15 years. "I instantly called the police and directed them to the location."

His parents and sister were in their apartment when the fire started.

"I called them and told them it was better to stay inside," he said. "The smoke was on the other side of our apartment so they couldn't smell anything. I am just worried about the electricity now if it's defected, it could be a huge problem."

Rabih Zaghrout, a Jordanian whose parents have been living on the third floor for 16 years, said all surrounding shops had vacated the area. "They all closed and left because they were scared," he said. "This is the first time it happens to us."

Residents waited 45 minutes before returning to their apartments.

cmalek@thenational.ae