UAE | Emergencies

Electrical fault caused Ajman fire: officials

Sole surviving son now being cared for by relatives

  • By Derek Baldwin, Chief Reporter and Aghaddir Ali, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 16:52 August 8, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Six people were killed in the Ajman villa fire, including a widow and her three daugthers.

Ajman: A faulty electrical connection is being cited as the cause of a fatal blaze that claimed the lives of six people in Ajman early Tuesday, said authorities yesterday.

Fire officials told Gulf News that an electrical connection related to the air conditioning in the two-storey villa in Humaidiya residential district sparked a fire that swept through the dwelling.

An Emirati widow, Haleema Mubarak, her three daughters, Mariam, Nouf and Moza, and two unidentified housemaids perished in the blaze shortly after 9am.

A lone surviving family member, 15-year-old son Amr Abdullah, escaped the blaze by jumping from his upstairs bedroom window located at the rear of the villa. He was released from Shaikh Khalifa Hospital after treatment and has been relocated to Ras Al Khaimah with relatives.

While the specifics of the electrical nature of the fire were not released yesterday, the fire official said in an interview that the mother and both the maids may have been watching television on the ground floor late into the evening and could have “fallen asleep and left the air conditioning on”.

The fire spread rapidly throughout the home, filling the villa with smoke.

The official said that the thick black smoke is most likely the chief reason behind the victims’ inability to escape the fire. While the three daughters upstairs are believed to have died from smoke inhalation, the victims downstairs may not have been able to find their way out through the smoke.

Some of the victims “couldn’t leave because of the smoke. It paralysed their movement”, the official said.

Fire officials said on Tuesday that the mother made a desperate call to emergency officials from her burning villa shortly before 9am.

She never completed the call — the call for assistance ended abruptly. Calls returned to the distress caller were not answered.

Firefighters were dispatched to the Humaidiya neighbourhood where they discovered smoke on the horizon and tracked the fire to the woman’s home.

Civil Defence officials said in a statement that finding the home was difficult because the fire service does not have a computer system that links phone calls to actual locations through GPS services. Plans, however, are under way to implement such a system to prevent fire fatalities in the emirate.

In a push for prevention, the fire official warned people to ensure that people “turn off their air condition when they are not sleeping and to make sure that anything that is not needed for immediate use be switched off. People need to be more cautious”.

The deceased members of the family were laid to rest late Tuesday.

It’s believed officials are overseeing procedures to repatriate the bodies of the two maids to their home countries in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Gulf News