38 flats affected in Torch Tower fire: Dubai Civil Defence
Dubai - The fire started on the 26th floor
The presence of Dubai leaders have inspired firefighters to put out a blaze at Torch Tower in Dubai Marina immediately, resulting in zero injuries and casualties, the Dubai Police have said.
"The presence of Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, son of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in the area of the accident and his support to all the field teams resulted in evacuating the affected residents in a record time," said Major-General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police and concurrent head of the crises and disasters management in Dubai.
The fire broke out in Torch Tower, the world's fifth tallest residential building with 87 floors, around 12.45am on Friday. The fire has impacted 38 apartments and 64 floors, Dubai authorities said.
The 676-apartment tower, among which 84 floors are residential and three are used for services, was quickly evacuated. Firefighters reached the scene within four minutes after receiving a report on the fire at 12.45am.
Firefighting squads from six civil defence stations, including Al Marsa station, UAE martyrs station, Al Quoz, Al Rashidiya, Al Barsha and Port Saeed stations were deployed to bring the fire under control and ensure safety of residents besides the marine rescue team. All the roads leading to the buildings were closed and the entire area was cordoned off by the Dubai Police.
The participation of different authorities helped to put out the fire at 2.58am and cooling operations started right after. Instant response to the fire helped in putting it out in a short time and avoided its spread to further floors of the building that could've resulted in more damage.
In an official statement, Dubai Civil Defence officials said the fire started from the 26th floor, moving upwards from the south-west corner. The fire slightly damaged the interior of the 83rd and 84th floor.
However, no injuries were reported, and investigations into the cause of the fire have started.
On Friday afternoon, the Dubai Police reopened roads leading to the tower.
Maj-Gen Al Marri said firefighters, rescuers and ambulance team helped put out the fire quickly and ensured safety of residents - and their pets. The teams carried out inspections in 597 apartments and evacuated 475 people who were later sheltered in three nearby hotels.
The Dubai Police chief praised the fact that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid was following up the incident, along with Lieutenant-General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was at the scene with Major-General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director-General of Dubai Civil Defence and supported all teams while the tower was being evacuated.
Some expats in the Dubai Marina area have also offered their homes to affected Torch Tower residents. British-Egyptian expat Ahmed Ali posted on his Facebook account on Friday morning: "If you know anyone affected by this fire and is in need of assistance or a place to stay, then please let me know."
Torch Tower went up in flames for the first time, back in February 2015. More than 1,000 people were evacuated from the 1,105-foot tall building. According to Kingfield Owner Association Management Services, the building management company for Torch Tower, "most of the damage was limited to the exterior cladding."