x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Sharjah ruler orders rebuilding of burnt home that killed father and son

The Ruler of Sharjah wants the villa destroyed by fire in Al Madam to be repaired so that family members of the two victims can return to their home as soon as possible.

Sharjah's Ruler wants the gutted villa in Al Madam to be repaired so that family members can return to their home.
Sharjah's Ruler wants the gutted villa in Al Madam to be repaired so that family members can return to their home.

SHARJAH // A villa destroyed by a fire that claimed the lives of a father and son is being repaired on the orders of the emirate's ruler.

The 53-year-old Emirati and his eldest son, 20, died of suffocation while rescuing 12 members of their family.

The survivors were taken to Al Dhaid Hospital in Sharjah. The mother, 45, and her eight-year-old son were later airlifted to Al Mafraq Hospital and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi, where they are recovering.

The villa in Al Madam area of Sharjah, close to the border with Oman, was gutted by the blaze.

Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed, the Ruler of Sharjah, ordered the repair work after visiting members of the family at a relative's home in Al Fili.

Ruined and fire-damaged furniture was removed on Sunday and painting is due to start this week so the family can return home as soon as possible, said Hadi Khalfan Al Kitibi, one of eight remaining children.

He said Sheikh Sultan's visit to offer his condolences had helped the family deal with the loss of their loved ones.

"We are praying for our father and brother who lost their lives saving their family, to have this brave action accepted by God and grant them paradise," he said.

"We are also very grateful to Sheikh Sultan and the whole UAE Government for the support and care they have given us during these trying moments."

Mr Al Kitibi, who is married and lives in an annex next to the villa, said the siblings planned to travel to Abu Dhabi to help take care of their mother and brother while they are in hospital.

"Their condition is improving steadily and we still pray for their full recovery," he added.

The fire broke out at about 2am. Col Dr Abdul Qader Al Amiri, director of Sharjah Police's forensic laboratory, said initial investigations suggested the blaze was caused by faulty electrical wiring in a living room on the first floor.

The father carried his wife and children to safety one at a time on his back, putting them on the villa's veranda before going back to collect others.

Neighbours also helped in the rescue before firefighters arrived at the scene. The blaze was brought under control in less than 30 minutes.

The father and son were buried in Al Madam cemetery on Friday.

Col Al Amiri said the house had only one door, a breach of fire-safety requirements.

Dr Sheikh Sultan also announced development projects in the area, including building new roads and paving existing ones and constructing more houses for Emiratis. Also being built are schools, hospitals and a civil defence station that would be able to respond to fires and other emergencies in the area swiftly.

ykakande@thenational.ae