x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Abu Dhabi fire sends residents fleeing

Firemen battle a blaze in an Abu Dhabi block of flats which forces hundreds of residents onto the street.

Tariq Muhammed Fazal, from Pakistan, surveys the damage to his room after a fire in his flat located across from Al Wahda Mall.
Tariq Muhammed Fazal, from Pakistan, surveys the damage to his room after a fire in his flat located across from Al Wahda Mall.

ABU DHABI // Firemen were called to a five-storey block of flats near Al Wadha Mall this morning to put out a blaze that forced hundreds of residents into the street. Residents reported smelling smoke around 9.30am. The fire, confined to a flat on the building's fourth floor, sent a dark cloud of smoke out through a bedroom window. A fireman said some people had run up to the roof of the building to escape, but the officials had been able to get them safely out. He said crews had been called to the same building the day before to put out another fire. The cause of the fire could not be confirmed though some residents of the building said they believed a faulty window unit air conditioner could be responsible. One bedroom containing four beds was destroyed in the fire, as was a small kitchenette. Some of the men had been asleep when the fire started but friends had woken them and everyone fled down the stairwell. Fire crews contained the fire and allowed residents back into the building at about 11.30am. Gajmul Said, a taxi driver from Pakistan who has lived in the fourth-floor flat for five years, said he and his flatmates were not sure where they would stay tonight. "Where will we stay now? This is our house," he said. mchung@thenational.ae