x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Fire guts warehouse in Dubai's Al Quoz

A fire gutted a warehouse in Al Quoz on Wednesday afternoon, destroying a supermarket's stock of food, clothes and electronics.

Firefighters battle the blaze at the warehouse of Shaklan Supermarket.
Firefighters battle the blaze at the warehouse of Shaklan Supermarket.

DUBAI // A fire gutted a warehouse in Al Quoz yesterday, destroying Shaklan Supermarket's stock of food, clothes and electronics.

About a dozen workers were in the warehouse behind the supermarket in Al Quoz 4 when the fire started about 3.20pm.

The manager of the supermarket said a worker noticed smoke coming from the food items and immediately alerted the rest of the staff. No one was hurt.

"We had about 30 people working in the warehouse and in the supermarket in total," said Abdul Rashid, the manager. "We evacuated the supermarket as well when we saw the fire intensify."

Mr Rashid said he could not give an estimate on the losses incurred but it "might run into the billions".

Owners of the Shaklan Group, which has hypermarkets and supermarkets across Dubai, were on site and confirmed they were covered by insurance.

A civil defence officer at the scene said the fire was probably caused by cooking oil stored in the building.

"But we cannot be sure until all the smoke is gone and we can enter," he said. "The fire affected one warehouse only."

Police cordoned off the site while firefighters struggled until 5pm to put out the blaze. Workers at nearby garages and offices were also evacuated.

Some workers said they had left valuables inside but were not allowed into the shop.

Representatives responsible for an Emirates NBD ATM machine were also refused entry into the supermarket to remove it.

aahmed@thenational.ae