Duja Tower fire: Regular false alarm made tenants ignore warning bells

duja tower, fire, regular false alarm, tenants, warning bells, ignore

Dubai - Evacuated tenants started moving back into the 53-storey building on Saturday.


Anjana Sankar

Published: Sat 22 Feb 2020, 8:01 PM

Last updated: Sat 22 Feb 2020, 10:16 PM

Regular false fire alarms that would go off in the building made many tenants ignore the warning bell when actual fire broke out in Duja Towers on Sheikh Zayed road on Thursday night, tenants told Khaleej Times.
"Since April last year, we had this problem of fire alarm going off every now and then. When the alarm rang this time, many people including my family ignored it," said a tenant who did not want to be named.
Evacuated tenants started moving back into the 53-storey building on Saturday, two days after a fire broke out in the high-rise. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire.
Describing the situation, the tenant said he did not get out of the building when he heard the fire alarm past 8pm. "I ignored it as usual. When it kept ringing, I went down the stairs to check with the security wo conformed there is a fire in the building."
The tenant who stays with his family and a dog, said he could not even call the security because his intercom was not working since months.
"I am really upset and angry with the building management. I had complained about it many time but no action was taken."
Another tenant, a lawyer from Bahamas said she would hear the fire alarm go off at least once a week in the building. "I myself have come down the stairs at least twice in the past because of the false fire alarm. So, it is natural that people do not take it seriously," said the resident.
Another tenant, Cheriff Ben from Tunisia said the intercom in his sister's apartment on 11th floor was also not working.
"To have intercoms really help in these emergencies," said Ben.
The building management, however, insisted that all intercoms are functioning and the fire alarms are part of the regular safety drill they conduct at the property.
"We inform the tenants the time and date when there is a drill. Sometimes, the alarm goes off because of its high sensitivity," Reyan Al Banna, Property Manager at Duja Tower said.
"We are doing everything possible to ensure that families move back in today itself. "we have opened the floors from 21 to 40 for the residents. As soon as we get security clearance, other floors will also be ready for moving in," said Al Banna.
Evacuated tenants who were given complimentary lodgings in nearby hotels returned to the building and were escorted by the building management.
Other tenants that Khaleej Times spoke to said they responded to a security announcements and evacuated the building.
"They were making announcements through the speakers and it was very helpful," said Pankaj Nirula, a tenant of the 18th floor.
"It could not have been better. Everything from one end to the other was well communicated to the residents at all times. There was no cause for panic at all."
Kura Righton, a resident of the building told Khaleej Times that the building management was 'just amazing.'
She said fire fighters from Dubai civil defense carried a bull dog trapped on the 32nd floor to safety when Duja Towers on Sheikh Zayed road caught fire on Thursday night.
"Roy is our baby. They literally carried him all the way down through the stairs. By the time, we arrived at the building, they gave him water and even fed him," said Righton.
"My father-in-law who is in his early 60s was in the apartment along with our dog. He could not carry Roy down because he weights around 20 kilos. Two security guards separately tried to rescue him but he would not go with them. But we are so glad that they did not abandon the dog when the building was on fire," said Righton.
She said Roy is currently in a boarding house and will soon move back with them into the apartment.

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