Food for thought for cops, albeit a bit rotten

ABU DHABI — The overwhelming stench emanating from a bachelor quarter in Al Hamili building in Abu Dhabi prompted residents to call in the police on the presumption that the tenant had breathed his last.

By Adel Arafah

Published: Thu 3 Aug 2006, 10:39 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:59 PM

Tenants of the multi-storeyed building went into a tizzy after tracing the foul smell to flat number 501, whose occupant Mohammed Fathi, supposedly, had been out of station for more than a month.

Residents feared Fathi could have died or have been murdered. One resident told the police that a fire had broken out in the flat a week ago, although it had remained locked for 40 days.

Fathi had apparently left the country for Qatar on an official assignment, he added.

The fire was detected by the watchman who, making out an acrid smell, alerted the civil defence.

Firefighters broke open the door and put out the blaze, which had gutted the kitchen.

An official source said the fire was caused by the kitchen's exhaust fan, which the occupant had forgotten to switch off.

A resultant short-circuit had sparked the fire, he added.

Al Khalidiyya police disconnected the power supply to the apartment and changed the lock to secure the door again but did not notice that the fridge, laden with meat and other food items which had gone horribly rotten, was the source of the smell.

The police later handed over the key of the apartment to the brother of the occupant to facilitate cleaning of the premises.

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