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UAE Red Crescent to provide temporary accommodation

posted on 03/10/2015: 1785 views

At least 250 families have been rendered homeless by a massive fire that engulfed a 32-storey building on King Faisal Street in Sharjah on Thursday.

The fire broke out around noontime and, according to residents of the building, the fire alarms failed to go off.

Residents were alerted by smoke and screams of people.

A seven-year-old girl, who was alone in her flat as her parents were away, was later rescued by civil defence personnel.

"My daughter was back from school and when the fire broke out and she was alone at home. My husband and I were at work. When we learnt about the fire we rushed and alerted the civil defence who promptly rescued her. She had inhaled smoke and was in shock. We took her to hospital and she is fine now,” said Meera Boravitkaya, a resident of the building for five years.

She said the building is poorly maintained and the fire fighting equipment didn't work.

"When I reached the building at noon, I heard two explosions; we got to know that two cars burst into flames,” she added.

Another resident, Ahmad from Egypt, who was also away when the fire broke out said: "We live on the third floor, where apparently the fire broke out, my family was inside and [my wife] was stuck for while. But she managed to escape unhurt. We are on the road now, the Red Crescent officials are saying they will provide accommodation but we are still waiting.”

An official from UAE Red Crescent said residents will be provided with hotel accommodation.

Najeebullah from Afghanistan, who lives with his family on the 18th floor of the building, said he didn't have a way out as the fire raged.

"We didn't know about the fire initially. Nobody informed us and no one came to help. There was no fire alarm. We suspected something wrong when the power went off and then we heard screams. But we were stuck as the lower floors were on fire. There was smoke everywhere and struggled our way out through the stairs and thank God we didn't get hurt,” said Najeebullah, who has been living in the building for 18 months.

No casualties have been reported, but at least 19 people were treated for suffocation. – Gulf News -


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