x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Al Ain children left home alone seriously injured in apartment fire

Mustafa Osama Kamal, 3, and his 5-year-old sister Maryam are undergoing treatment with breathing difficulties in intensive care.

ABU DHABI// Two children were seriously injured in an apartment fire in Al Ain after their parents left them home alone.

Mustafa Osama Kamal, 3, and his 5-year-old sister Maryam were hospitalised with breathing difficulties from smoke inhalation, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement.

The children, from Egypt, are undergoing treatment in intensive care; one is in critical condition.

Their father was at work and their mother had locked them inside the apartment to go grocery shopping when the fire began, the statement from the Ministry said.

"Preliminary investigations showed that the fire broke out in one of the apartment's rooms, burnt the ceiling and the door, and caused the air-conditioning to explode, before spreading to the rest of the apartment's rooms," said Brigadier Hamad Al Amimi, director of the Al Ain Police Directorate. "The two children were found unconscious and in critical condition on the kitchen floor."

The statement did not say what day the fire happened, but police said it was reported at 11.47am in the Hili industrial area and spread to two adjacent apartments.

Firefighters arrived in time to save the children "from a certain death," the statement said.

Major General Nasser Al Nuaimi, President of the Higher Committee for Child Protection at the Ministry of Interior, urged parents not to leave their children alone, and wished both children a swift recovery.

"Family is the first line of protection [against] the various risks that children may face," he said.

Police are investigating the cause of the fire. They praised the efforts of neighbours who helped save the children's lives.