Massive fire breaks out at Dubai’s 1,105ft Torch tower
Dubai : A fire ripped through one of the world’s tallest residential towers in Dubai on Thursday night, sending panicked residents fleeing from the building.
Debris could be seen spiralling to the ground across the famous Marina district of the city as the fire consumed multiple floors of the Torch Tower after midnight.
Authorities quickly evacuated the residents and no injuries were reported.
“We were sleeping and we woke up to the fire alarm and people screaming. We ran down the stairs and it took us about 10 minutes to reach from the 50th floor.
“The fire was very strong at that time, about 1 a.m. Then it started calming down over the next two hours. It started on the 67th floor, that’s what we were told.”
Dubai Civil Defence said the fire had been brought under control and cooling operations were underway.
The 1,100ft, 79-storey skyscraper, which is known to be popular with expatriate residents of the UAE city, was devastated by a fire in February 2015. There were no deaths in that fire.
The external cladding on the building was blamed for the rapid spread of the 2015 fire, leading to the decision to fully renovate the exterior cladding – works which began last summer and were believed to be ongoing.
Flames have spread across many floors of the Dubai skyscraper
In June, a fire at Grenfell tower in west London led to at least 80 deaths.
The growth of the fire was made worse by the tower’s exterior cladding, which was similar to the materials used at Dubai’s Torch tower.
Reports on social media suggested the fire reached the roof rapidly, with an entire side of the building engulfed in flames.
A witness told Gulf News: “Smoke is everywhere. The streets are covered in debris.”
Authorities later shared a photo of the charred and blackened tower but it was no longer visibly in flames. Officials said they were now working on providing shelter for those affected.
Dubai Civil Defence announces that the fire at the Torch Tower has been brought under control. Cooling operations are underway pic.twitter.com/4k2NeVXYBK
In January Dubai announced tougher rules to minimise fire risks after a series of tower blazes in the modern emirate mostly due to flammable material used in cladding, a covering or coating used on the side of the buildings.
On New Year’s Eve 2015 a fire broke out in a luxury hotel, injuring 16 people hours before a fireworks display nearby.
In November 2015, fire engulfed three residential blocks in central Dubai and led to services on a metro line being suspended, although no one was hurt.