UAE | Emergencies

Two women arrested for causing Sharjah building fire

Two women arrested on charges of causing fire in Sharjah tower

  • By Aghaddir Ali, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 April 24, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Atiq-ur-Rehman/Gulf News
  • A resident of Hafeet Tower 2 inspects her apartment after a fire spread in the building on Monday.

Sharjah: Two residents of Hafeet Tower 2 where a blaze destroyed 10 apartments on Monday were arrested on charges of causing the fire.

They are two women, an Ethiopian and a Filipina, who live in apartment No 701 and work at the Sharjah International Airport.

“The two women were cooking, left the gas stove on, locked their apartment and went downstairs. While they were downstairs, they saw a blaze on their balcony where they had kept some flammable materials. This helped spread the fire quickly and gutted the building’s cladding panel,” said Abdul Nasser, the building manager.

The building owner will provide temporary accommodation to affected residents, Nasser told Gulf News.

Residents of the tower in Sharjah’s Al Tawun area were evacuated when a fire broke out on the 20th floor. “Residents of the building were evacuated as a precautionary measure as the firefighters doused the blaze,” said Brigadier Abdullah Al Suwaidi, Director General of Sharjah Civil Defence.

Police and civil defence are investigating the cause of the fire. Officials from the forensic laboratory visited the scene yesterday to determine the cause of the fire.

Building residents told Gulf News that the fire alarm was not working at the time of the blaze.

Temporary shelter

Meanwhile, building manager Abdul Nasser said the owner of Hafeet Tower 2 will provide temporary accommodation to residents.

Brigadier Abdullah Al Suwaidi, Director General of Sharjah Civil Defence, said an investigation has been launched to find the cause of the fire, which started at around 2pm on Monday.

Asphyxiation

Five people showed symptoms of asphyxiation and four of them were treated at the scene while a woman was taken to Al Kuwaiti Hospital for treatment, Brigadier Al Suwaidi said.

Officials from the forensic laboratory visited the scene of the incident on Tuesday morning to determine the cause of the fire.

Two residents who stay in apartment No 701 in the tower have been arrested on charges of causing the fire. They are two women, one from Ethiopia and the other from the Philippines, who work at the Sharjah International Airport.

“The two women were cooking, left the gas stove on, locked their apartment and went downstairs. While they were downstairs, they witnessed a blaze in balcony where they had kept some flammable materials. This helped spread the fire quickly and gutted the building’s cladding panel,” Nasser said.

Khalaf Rashid Al Naiyli, the building owner, has instructed his office staff to provide shelter to residents whose apartments were affected in the blaze.

Insurance coverage

“The owner, who stays in Al Ain, came on Tuesday morning and followed up on the condition of the residents and to check their needs. He will compensate them and the insurance will bear the cost of repairing the damaged apartments,” Nasser said.

Four apartments were damaged badly — 501, 601, 701 and 801 — while six apartments need maintenance and cleaning, he added.

Building residents told Gulf News that the fire alarm was not working at the time of the incident. They came to know about the fire from people who were screaming below the building.

All services were restored to the building on Monday night and residents returned to their apartments, Nasser said.

Residents of affected apartments took their keys and will return to their units once maintenance is completed on Wednesday.

Comments (6)

  1. Added 15:12 April 24, 2013

    I am deeply touched by the concern shown by the building owner who made quick arrangments and helped the people in need. While in most cases owners just leave it to the government to help the people but he made all efforts to make sure everyone had shelter. May Allah bless him. Keep it up SIr.

    Abu Amir, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 14:46 April 24, 2013

    The landlord of the property should be appreciated for going out of his way to provide alternative accommodations to the affected families. Also, most importantly, the damages suffered by the tenants are being duly compensated by insurance company. This is a good example set by the owner, as in most of the building fire cases in the past which have occurred in Sharjah, the landlords have conveniently distanced themselves from the issue by being silent or playing the blame game. Also, at the same time, tenants should take due care of the rental property as if its their own.

    Clarence S Lewis, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 14:12 April 24, 2013

    Build safe buildings, dont charge people. too many sharjah buildings on fire due to poor flameable material used during construction.

    hamid, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 14:04 April 24, 2013

    This is very sad. The residents should ensure that all utility systems are closed before leaving the apartment. The building management should publish a Do's and Don'ts policy and put it up on each floor. The authorities should do a random check on fire management systems across building on adhoc basis. I am sure many residents and watchmen do not know how to use the fire gadgets installed across floors.

    DRAY, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 13:31 April 24, 2013

    Please Please Please all of us kindly before we leaving its just take few second to check water tap,electric switch & gas.

    Ali, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 13:10 April 24, 2013

    People can be so reckless... As usual, fire alarms not working... :( very sad.

    Jenny Michaels, SHJ, United Arab Emirates

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