Major fire in Al Quoz again, paint warehouse gutted

DUBAI — Eight days after the massive fire in a cluster of warehouses in Al Quoz Industrial Area and a day after the Naif Souq fire in Deira, Dubai Civil Defence had to battle another blaze in a warehouse which stocked paints and chemicals in Al Quoz yesterday.

By Riyasbabu And Preeti Kannan (Our staff reporters)

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Published: Fri 4 Apr 2008, 9:42 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:45 PM

Two persons suffered serious burns and were rushed to Rashid Hospital.

The fire broke out around 11.15am, spreading thick plumes of smoke around. The fire was contained completely by around 1pm.

A Civil Defence Press statement said three fire squads from Al Quoz, Jumeirah and Al Satwa Civil Defence stations were rushed to the site within minutes of the alert, and quickly controlled the blaze at the store stocking highly flammable materials.

Brigadier Rashid Thani Al Matroshi, Director of Dubai Civil Defence Department, who supervised the firefighting operations, confirmed that the situation is under control. He pointed out that the proximity of the Al Quoz Civil Defence station helped the fire squad to reach the spot immediately.

An investigation has been launched to find out the cause of the fire, he said.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in coordination with the police closed the roads leading to Al Quoz to give police rescue teams, ambulances and fire brigades easy access to the fire site.

According to eyewitnesses, a thick plume of smoke emanated from a warehouse near the third interchange leading to Al Quoz.

Jude Bernard, who works in an office in Al Quoz, said he was in a bus. They could see thick plumes of smoke. Traffic ground to a halt immediately. The fire appeared to be huge, he said, recalling last Wednesday's fire in Al Quoz which destroyed 83 warehouses, killing eight people and injuring seven workers.

Meanwhile, people residing and working in Al Quoz expressed concern over the frequent fire accidents in the area.

Al Quoz Industrial Area is home to thousands of warehouses that store everything from vehicles and garments to toys, chemicals and construction materials.

'I work in Al Quoz and I have seen a lot of places that flout safety norms. There seems to be blatant disregard for basic rules. The authorities need to do something about it before another fire robs us of our sleep,' wrote Ahmad Abdulaziz, a visitor to the Khaleej Times web site.

'It is quite alarming to see the number of fires being reported on a daily basis. There have been a lot of reasons ascribed for the fires — from short circuits to negligence — but the fact remains that someone, somewhere is not paying attention to safety issues,' Shanti Subramaniam wrote to the Khaleej Times web site.

Commenting on the fire, health experts cautioned, toxic fumes from the warehouse which stocked paints and chemicals could cause suffocation, difficulty in breathing and coughing.

'These gases are a combination of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur oxide and mercury. It could cause inflammation of airways of the lung and may cause suffocation, difficulty in breathing and coughing,' Dr Basil Saffirini, senior specialist for respiratory diseases at Rashid Hospital and scientific member of the Emirates Respiratory Society, said.

He added that in such cases, the affected persons should rush to the hospital. The symptoms could be treated successfully in 24 to 48 hours.

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