Hero resident hailed for rescuing girl, 11, from Sharjah tower blaze
Mohammed Al Saudi broke down door to take child to safety as flames engulfed Abbco Tower on Tuesday
A hero resident who rescued a girl, 11, from a fire that tore through a Sharjah tower block has been honoured for his act of bravery.
Mohammed Al Saudi broke down the youngster's apartment door and took her to safety after hearing her cries for help as flames swept through the high-rise Abbco Tower on Tuesday evening.
The girl was alone and trapped inside her home because her mother had locked the door before leaving the first-floor flat.
"He broke down the door and freed the child, who was found in good health, then moved her out of the tower," said Col Sami Al Naqbi, director general of Sharjah Civil Defence.
Col Al Naqbi presented a certificate of appreciation to Mr Al Saudi for his courageous actions that saved the girl’s life.
"The honour comes within the framework of the civil defence’s keenness to encourage the public to feel societal responsibility and urge them to exert more benevolence and effort in helping others," he said.
Flames spread up and around the 48-storey building in minutes after it was reported about 9pm.
It took several fire crews about three hours to bring the blaze under control, as debris rained down on parked vehicles.
Despite the intensity of the blaze, hundreds of residents escaped quickly, running down fire escapes in the 190-metre tower, one of Sharjah's tallest.
Fire alarms that sounded in more than 300 apartments were credited with saving lives and only seven people were injured.
Maj Gen Saif Al Shamsi, head of Sharjah Police, said investigators were "90 per cent" sure the fire was caused by a cigarette butt or shisha coal left in a corridor on the first floor.
“The fire then spread to one of the apartments on the first floor and quickly spread on to the other floors due to the cladding, which is flammable plates,” Gen Al Shamsi said on Sunday.
He said about 100 of the 333 apartments in Abbco Tower had been inspected so far.
Of those, 26 were completely destroyed, 34 suffered smoke and water damage and 40 had damage to their doors.
Gen Al Shamsi said 33 vehicles on the street and inside the building suffered damage from flames and falling debris.
No blame or liability has been attributed to anyone at this stage.
Updated: May 11, 2020 12:41 AM