Address hotel fire victims' basic needs addressed
The fire-hit side of the Address Hotel, Dubai, on Saturday.
Dubai - Residents of the ill-fated hotel will be provided with money to buy clothes, and the hotel will pay for their food.
Published: Sun 3 Jan 2016, 8:04 PM
Residents of Address Downtown Dubai, who lost their belongings in the massive fire that erupted on New Year's Eve, will get monetary help until the embassies provide them with necessary documents.
Starting from today, residents of the ill-fated hotel will be provided with money to buy clothes, and the hotel will pay for their food.
The hotel has formed a dedicated team at Down Town opposite the Palace Hotel to assist the victims and has made arrangements for them to make free phone calls.
The residents who have been staying there and having one year contract will be provided accommodation until the damages were fixed.
An official at the hotel said that the hotel is still cordoned off and residents who were living between 7 and 12 floor were allowed to take their belongings in assistance with the Civil Defence team.
The residents were shifted to three hotels including Atlantis. It is not clear when they will be back to the hotel.
20-minute brave act
As details about massive New Year's Eve fire emerged on Saturday, it was revealed firefighters took only 20 minutes to evacuate the entire Address Hotel, saving surrounding buildings and millions in damages.
When the entire world was watching whether Dubai will go ahead with New Year celebrations, four teams of Dubai Civil Defence, contained the fire in record time, not to dampen the spirit of thousands who converged near the Burj Khalifa Mall to watch the fireworks.
The Dubai Civil Defence fire fighters rescued the occupants of the hotel and prevented the fire, which erupted on the 20th floor, from completely destroying the iconic hotel. Eye witnesses of the fire said the fire have erupted on13 or 14th floor, and not from the top floors.
Major-General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director-General of Dubai Civil Defence, told Khaleej Times that the hotel, with a capacity of 5000 was occupied 100 per cent and evacuating all in 20 minutes is not a small achievement. He added there were 3,000 people at the hotel including the staff when the mishap happened.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Chairman of the Dubai Police and General Security, Lt-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, tweeted a photo which showed the fire erupted on the 40th floor of the building.
However, he was not available for a comment till this report was filed. There is contradiction in the number of people evacuated from the hotel as well.
According to Head of Dubai Police General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, the fire did not occur on 20th floor. Investigations are on to determine the exact location of the fire. He added, 1,000 residents, including 55, were evacuated from the hotel.
However, the Civil Defence crisis and disaster system help evict thousands of people who were present around the fire scene, and its automated water sprinkling system prevented the fire from spreading to other areas.
The Major-General said the most challenging situation during the rescue efforts was evacuation of a wheel-chair bound person.
He said this kind of accident could happen every where in the world, adding that tower fires are the most difficult to battle and it always ends in huge losses and disasters.
Major Ali Hassan Al Mutwaa said that fire fighters has battled to stop the fire from spreading to under-construction buildings, prevented the fire debris from falling to people and other buildings, along with the evacuation process.