Ajman: The sole survivor of an Ajman villa fire that claimed the lives of everyone in his immediate family says he himself barely escaped the inferno.
Amr Abdullah, 15, recalled that he awoke in his bedroom to find the house engulfed in flames even as the rest of his family remained asleep in their rooms on the second floor of their two-storey villa in the Al Hamidiyah neighbourhood.
In a matter of minutes, his mother Haleima Mubarak, sisters Mariam, 17, Nouf 14, and Mouza, 11, as well as two unidentified housemaids were hopelessly trapped by the blaze which erupted early on August 7.
“When I woke up, I could smell something strange burning and move towards the door of my room. When I opened the door, I was shocked to see flames everywhere,” Amr said. “I tried to walk toward my mother’s and sisters’ rooms to alert them but I couldn’t ...the floor was too hot and I could not walk on it.”
Unable to cross the hallway which was filled with flames and smoke, Amr retreated to his room, closed the door and called his mother’s mobile phone.
When she answered, “I heard a scream… the call ended.”
He never spoke to his mother again.
Within minutes, firefighters from Ajman Civil Defence had arrived at the burning villa and tore down a protective metal mesh from the window of Amr’s bedroom. When the way was clear, Amr was rescued.
The Ajman Civil Defence has now ruled that all six victims died of smoke inhalation.
Meanwhile His Highness Shaikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, has ordered payment of a month grant to help care for Amr who is now staying with his relatives in Ras Al Khaimah.
Shaikh Humaid will pay for Amr’s school studies until his graduation from university and he has instructed the Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi Charitable Foundation to renovate the burnt house and lease it for the benefit of Amr.
Lt General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, has expressed his condolences to Amr on the loss of his family.
Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, also offered condolences to Amr on the tragic loss of his family.
Now in the care of his relatives, Amr said: “I am so happy that Shaikhs take care of me and pay me their attention.”
Amr will live and study in Ras Al Khaimah with his grandfather, four uncles and six aunts.
Amr was enrolled in Grade 10 at Rashid Bin Humaid School in Ajman but he will now pursue his studies at a school in Ras Al Khaimah, said Mohammad Amr Abdullah Al Muhairi (Amr’s uncle), 30, who is working at the Ministry of Interior.
Al Muhairi said that Amr was moving to Ras Al Khaimah to live with his relatives there and would be under the guardianship of his eldest uncle Saleh, 42, who works in the Ras Al Khaimah Naturalisation and Residency department.
“My brother’s sons are the same age of Amr and they will be together. Now they are helping him deal with his trauma,” Al Muhairi said.