x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Fire destroys two Ajman factories

The combined effort of firefighters from five emirates fails to prevent a blaze gutting two Ajman factories.

Civil Defence firefighters try to control the fire which broke out in Ajman.
Civil Defence firefighters try to control the fire which broke out in Ajman.

AJMAN // Firemen battled for six hours today to extinguish a massive fire that gutted an oil lubricant depot then destroyed a metal factory next door. Although three people were at Henkel International Lubricant Industry when the fire broke out at 1pm, no injuries were reported. Within an hour the blaze had spread to the adjoining Atlass Metal Factory, said Capt Mohammed al Jumeirah, a senior official with Ajman Civil Defence. Firemen from Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Umm al Qaiwain and about 20 private companies were called in to assist in fighting the flames. As oil cans exploded inside the building and thick black clouds of smoke billowed into the air, firemen managed to keep the fire from spreading to other nearby businesses. The financial loss was still being tallied last night, though police estimated it would amount to millions of dirhams. An investigation into the cause of the fire continues. "We still don't know the exact cause, but Ajman Police is trying to investigate with the three people who were on the site," Capt al Jumeirah said. An official with Abu Dhabi Police said it was hard for firefighters to stop the fire from spreading because neighbouring companies also stored oil lubricants or other highly flammable materials. "It was really a massive fire," he said. "We should credit firefighters that they managed to contain it to only two companies." Among the nearby companies that escaped damage from the fire were Star Tech Lubricants and Greases Company − another oil company, with 3,000 barrels stored in its warehouse − and Zefron Aluminum. "We are very grateful to the firefighters," said Ali al Matrud, manager of Star Tech Lubricants. "We couldn't believe we could survive this fire as it is so close to us. "Just mere heat could spark off another fire in our neighbouring depot, and all the time I have been panicking." No one from Henkel's management was available to comment yesterday. ykakande@thenational.ae