Sharjah building fire: Man jumped off 30th floor to escape blaze, says brother

He was the sole breadwinner of his family, has two children back in home country

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

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Omanua Godfrey Shikanda (left) and Dickson Okusimba
Omanua Godfrey Shikanda (left) and Dickson Okusimba

Published: Mon 8 Apr 2024, 2:22 PM

Last updated: Mon 8 Apr 2024, 10:58 PM

The body of the Kenyan man who jumped to his death in an attempt to escape the major fire at a building in Sharjah’s Al Nahda will be repatriated soon – maybe by the end of this week.

Omanua Godfrey Shikanda, 36, had jumped from the 30th floor of the building when it caught fire, said Shikanda’s brother Dickson Okusimba as shared the heart-wrenching account leading to his brother's untimely demise.


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“Fate had different plans for my brother,” said Okusimba, his voice heavy with sorrow.


According to Okusimba, Shikanda was sleeping when the building caught fire. “His apartment was also on fire and must have woken up from his sleep. Having noticed thick smoke, Shikanda must have panicked and made the fateful decision to jump from his window in a desperate attempt to save himself. I believe he was hoping to land safely on a nearby car. However, tragedy struck, leaving us grappling with the unbearable pain,” said Okusimba.

At the time of the fire, Okusimba was away in Sri Lanka on a business trip. He launched a desperate search for his brother upon learning of the tragedy. “My friends kept calling me, but I couldn't be reached. When I finally got in touch with them the next day, they informed me of the fire at my brother's building and his disappearance.”

Unable to find his brother at his friend's place and office, Okusimba sent his friends to Buhaira police station and discovered the heartbreaking truth.

Shikanda, a supervisor at a piping company that installs pipes in buildings, leaves behind a grieving family in Kenya, including his wife and two young children. “His daughter is 14 years old and his son is six,” said Okusimba.

“His sudden and tragic departure has left a void that can never be filled,” said Okusimba, who returned to the UAE from Sri Lanka on Saturday. He visited Shikanda's apartment in Block B, only to find it in shambles in the aftermath of the fire.

Shikanda came to the UAE nine years ago. “His children, wife and all were happy. He was the only breadwinner for their family and was a very generous man,” said Okusimba.

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