Back home in 4 days: Residents of fire-hit Ajman tower relieved to return home

Eighteen apartments that were charred need extensive renovation and will be ready for tenants in two


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 5:52 PM

Last updated: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 10:15 PM

When the massive fire broke out on February 17, residents of Louloua tower did not expect to return to their homes after four days. Over 280 families were evacuated, and authorities in Ajman worked tirelessly to move back some of them.

Resident Shahbaz Ahmed was happy to be back home and thankful for the quick response by the police and civil defence. "When we left our homes after the fire broke out, we expected it would take at least six months to get back as the blaze was massive," he said.

The fire broke out in Louloua residential tower in Ajman's Al Rashidiya building which housed over 280 families that were evacuated quickly by the civil defence, police, and other relevant authorities. The victims were provided temporary shelter in various hotels across the emirate while some damaged apartments were restored.

Pakistani expat Ahmed, who has been living in the tower for the last two years, was out of his house and had gone to offer Friday prayers. "On my way back, I heard people talking about the fire at the supermarket. I ran back and found out it was my residential building, and hundreds of people gathered around the area. I was frantically searching for my family, and thank god they were safe," added Ahmed.

Another tenant, Mohammed Ali, an Egyptian national who resides on the 4th floor, was delighted to return to his home and said: “I thought I would have to look out for another residence, but thankfully we are very close to recovery.”

Ali, who was also out of the house on Friday, entered the apartment on Wednesday. “I visited the flat twice to estimate the loss. However, it was negligible, and I am finally moving in with my family,” said Ali.

The tower has 244 flats, and most occupants of the apartments are back after the Feb 17 incident. However, the 18 charred apartments will take two more weeks to be restored entirely, said tenant Hana Jaber.

Hana, whose apartment has been completely burnt, is currently housed in a hotel in Ajman. “Most of the apartment has been reduced to ashes. I have never seen a sofa and the bed disappear so quickly. My entire house was destroyed,” she said with a heavy heart.

The Jordanian expat was with her younger son in her apartment when the fire broke out. She was terrified by the thick dark plumes of smoke that engulfed her residence on the 22nd floor. “Along with my younger son, I had to take the stairs to reach the ground floor. The rescuers were very quick in getting the tenants out of the building. My only fear was my elder son taking the elevator to come home,” said Hana.

The eighteen apartments are being renovated by the managing company and will be handed over to the tenants in two weeks, and the community manager told Khaleej Times.


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