Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 23 September 2020

Cause of Ajman fire expected to be released this week

Police and Civil Defence are interviewing witnesses and assessing the site to find out what caused the blaze

Investigations into a fire that destroyed a popular souq in Ajman last week are expected to be completed over the next few days.

The results will reveal what started the blaze that burnt down all 125 shops and required almost 100 firefighters from Ajman, Dubai, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain to extinguish.

“The investigations include taking testimonies and collecting evidence from the site of the blaze by a fire expert, after which he will file a report of his findings,” said Maj Gen Sheikh Sultan Al Nuaimi, commander-in-chief of Ajman Police.

He said two companies were responsible for maintaining the Iranian market, which was closed from March as part of safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Maj Gen Al Nuaimi said teams were also checking if the fire extinguishers at the market were working or not.

"Civil Defence is currently examining them and will provide us with their report.

“At the moment, we can't say what the exact cause of the blaze was but hopefully we will be able to announce the results soon.”

Maj Gen Al Nuaimi called for all business to ensure they had the correct safety equipment on site, saying fire extinguishers must be regularly maintained for efficacy.

The fire began at about 6.30pm last Wednesday and took about two hours to put out. As the souq was mostly empty, no one was hurt.

Passers-by who saw as the blaze started attempted to put it out but flammable objects stored in the market contributed to the fire's quick spread.

Dozens of shop owners who returned to the souq the next day to count the cost of the damage told The National that they had lost their life's work, source of income and millions of dirhams in stored products.

“Many of us have bought products right before the closure but had no way of selling them to make profit or to settle their costs with suppliers,” said Fardees Ahmad, an Iranian in his 50s, who lost two shops that sold house household items.

Shop owners said they had no insurance because companies had refused to insure their stalls.

Updated: August 9, 2020 07:04 PM

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