29 suffocate in garbage room fire in Sharjah building
Sharjah - Iinitial investigations reveal the fire was caused by the hot charcoal of a shisha.
At least 29 people, including children, elderly and women, were severely suffocated during a massive fire in Lamya Tower in Al Khan area at 2 am.
Police evacuated the building and cordoned off the area, rushing the injured to Al Qasimi and Al Kuwaiti hospitals.
Residents who had nowhere to go spent the night outside their homes.
A civil defense official said that the fire started at 2:30 am, and fire fighters reached the site in less than five minutes.
The fire was not considered huge, as it started in the garbage room on the 26th floor and produced thick smoke that affected the residents of all apartments from the 26th to the 30th floor.
The police, ambulance and civil defense rescue team evacuated the residents of the entire 30-storey building and rushed more than 29 people to hospitals.
The civil defense handed the site to the fire experts of Sharjah Police for more investigation. The initial investigation revealed that one of the residents who was smoking shisha threw the remains of the shisha such as charcoal in the garbage room which was full of flammable material that produced heavy smoke.
The official said the building is well equipped with fire alarm system and followed all fire safety procedures.
Yasser M, a resident of the building, said that they were in deep sleep when heavy smoke and blazing sirens woke them up, and they decided to leave the building. However, the corridor was full of smoke, which suffocated children and the elderly.