One hundred guests and staff members were evacuated from the Furdos Guest Hotel, located on Al Khaleej Street opposite Hyatt Regency Hotel near the Deira fish market.
Thirteen injured in Dubai hotel fire
DUBAI // Guests at a Deira hotel spoke yesterday of their horror at being trapped by a fire that spread through the building’s ground floor.
One hundred guests and staff members were evacuated from the three-storey Furdos Guest Hotel, located on Al Khaleej Street opposite Hyatt Regency Hotel near the Deira fish market, when the fire broke out shortly after 11am in the ground floor furniture store.
One person was seriously injured, 12 suffered minor injuries and 12 people had to be rescued by firefighters when the fire spread to the staircase leaving them all trapped.
“You think anything can happen in such a situation, you think that you will die, you think of the lives of your family after you,” said Bah Dahirou, who was trapped inside his room on the third floor for more than an hour before the fire was brought under control.
Mr Dahirou, who arrived from Mali a week ago on a business trip, noticed that something was wrong when he went to use the bathroom.
“It was then that I heard the alarm, so I looked outside and there was black smoke everywhere,” he said.
“The first thing that crossed my mind was that I should throw myself from the window to escape the fire. But when I looked down I realised it was too high and too risky.”
Instead he waited and was among those rescued by firemen.
Yattassaye, also from Mali, who had been staying at the hotel for the last three days, said: “I was sleeping when I heard the low sound of a bell. I did not realise that it was the fire alarm until I smelt the smoke – I realised then that there was a fire.”
The fire was brought under control in about an hour and a half.
Afterwards boxes of burnt DVD-players stood outside the hotel entrance. The furniture store and staircase to the first three storeys were gutted.
“The guests stored their belongings, many of which were electronics, inside the furniture store,” said J James, the son of the hotel manager. “So we are not sure what happened but authorities are investigating.”
The manager of the hotel has been called in for questioning at Naif Police Station.
Sixty guests were checked into the hotel at the time of the fire, according to management.
Following the evacuation many stood outside the hotel, while others lay on the stairs of a building opposite, just a few metres away, as they waited to be allowed back in.
“I need to get my things from inside. I am travelling tonight – I do not know what to do,” said one female guest, in a desperate voice.
It was not clear when the hotel would reopen.