x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Victims band together in Sharjah fire compensation battle

Former tenants of the fire-gutted Al Tayyer tower meet in Al Nahda park to discuss their next move in their battle for compensation from the building's owner.

Former tenants of Al Tayar tower during a meeting in Nahda Park.
Former tenants of Al Tayar tower during a meeting in Nahda Park.

SHARJAH // About 20 former tenants of the fire-gutted Al Tayyer tower met in Al Nahda park last night to discuss their next move in their battle for compensation from the building's owner.

The group discussed options including taking the case to court and lobbying for intervention by the Sharjah Ruler.

The tenants, who were meeting for the first time, agreed to take on the case as a group after having no success individually.

"It is easier to dismiss a single person but not a group," one tenant said. "We should not feel shy about asking for our compensation because we lost everything."

They agreed to have more meetings this week, possibly in the presence of lawyers.

The blaze displaced more than 100 families in April. But the insurance company ruled that because the fire was started by a discarded cigarette, the building's owner could not be held liable.

Most of the tenants said they were still struggling to rebuild their lives. They also claimed landlords of nearby buildings were capitalising on their suffering by increasing their rents.

 

ykakande@thenational.ae