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Burning object from outside caused Tamweel fire: Police

amira@khaleejtimes.com Filed on December 6, 2012
Burning object from outside caused Tamweel fire: Police

The Dubai Police have revealed that a burning object was behind Tamweel Tower fire which damaged 30 apartments and 61 cars.

The police said the object could have been a burning piece of charcoal or some other factor which sparked the fire on November 18.

The burnt top of Tamweel Tower, Dubai. — KT file photoFire expert Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed of the General Department of Criminal Evidence of the Dubai Police said the fire started from outside of the tower and not from inside, and it was first picked up by an intelligent alarm system connected to a Civil Defence operations room, through sensors located on the first floor.

He said the object fell into a store room located behind the ground floor of the tower that contained maintenance tools and waste.

Ahmed said the fire moved to all 34 floors of the building but started from the ground floor.

He explained that the team from the Fire Accident Section managed to find out the area from which the fire started through checking security camera footage and careful examination of the scene.

He pointed out the building contained flammable fibre, with the aluminium panels that cover the building quickly transmitting the fire to the rest of the building, which led to confusion at the time as it was unclear where the source of the fire was.

He said one eyewitness told the experts that he saw cars burning at the bottom and he thought that the alarms were off for this reason, so did not think to escape, but he was surprised to find the fire outside his window. He said the apartments located in the front were the most affected those located in the back despite the fact that the fire started from the back.

Ahmed said he could not be sure of what the object that led to the fire was, but cigarettes flicked down from many balconies overlooking the store room were found, alongside stove coals from shisha pipes and gas cylinders.

Stop aluminium cladding

The police’s fire section had made a recommendation to reconsider the method of installing aluminum plates that cover the towers and buildings.

He pointed out that apartment buildings needed to provide anti-combustion material to prevent fires from spreading, because the Tamweel fire spread with enormous speed and affected the tower interface. He stressed the importance of separating floors with insulating material between each storey.

Install thermal detectors

It was also necessary to instal detectors in balconies to monitor flames, he said, acknowledging many of the owners of the towers refused to instal smoke detectors because they sounded from cigarette or barbecue smoke. He stressed that a suitable alternative was to instal thermal alarm detectors which detect fire in the range of 70 to 80 degree celsius.

He cautioned people to be careful with what they stored underneath a balcony, as people who live on high floors are unaware of the dangers when they drop hot coal or cigarette butts.

news@khaleejtimes.com

Amira Agarib





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