Sharjah fire leaves 30 families homeless

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Sharjah fire leaves 30 families homeless

Residents had to spend the night in hotels, cars, mosques and relatives’ houses after a five-storey building on Jamal Abdul Nasser street went on fire.

By Afkar Abdullah/principal Correspondent

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Published: Wed 20 May 2015, 1:35 AM

Last updated: Fri 10 Jul 2015, 6:45 PM

A resident after dousing the flames that raged through his apartment in a building on Jamal Abdul Nasser street in Sharjah on Monday morning. -— KT photo by M. Sajjad

Sharjah — Over 30 families of various nationalities living in a five-storey building on Jamal Abdul Nasser street were evacuated through windows and balconies on Sunday night after a fire raged through the building’s first floor.

Residents had to spend the night in hotels, cars, mosques and relatives’ houses. They couldn’t go back to their flats even on Monday morning as the fire was not “doused properly”. As the fire got reignited, residents were seen using fire extinguishers and water to douse the flames. Finally they had to call the civil defence again to put out the fire.

No casualties were reported in the fire that was reported at 11pm, but on-site first aid was administered on some residents for suffocation from inhaling smoke.

The fire reportedly started in the central air-conditioner room due to a short circuit and spread to an apartment on the first floor. The apartment was gutted.

A civil defence official said fire brigades reached the spot in under five minutes after it was reported. They managed to control the blaze before it could spread to neighbouring buildings.

Rescue officials used ladders to evacuate residents including children from their flats.

‘Don’t know when we can go home’

Umm Ahmed, a resident of the building, said she had to sleep at her friend’s apartment on Sunday night. “We don’t know what to do and when we can go back home. This mess needs to be cleared immediately and the wires in the AC room need to replaced.

“We pay such high rents, but the services rendered are poor,” she claimed.

Another resident claimed the building has no watchman and that its management employed the watchman of a neighbouring building to clean it.

Maher Ahmed, the tenant of the gutted apartment on the first floor, said he and his family were not at home when the fire broke out.

They spent the night at a hotel nearby. He said he went back to his flat on Monday morning and saw that the fire had not been doused properly. With the help of other tenants, he tried dousing the flames but to no avail.

The manager of a garment shop in the building said his shop was not damaged in the fire, but he has shut it down temporarily.

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