Massive fire erupts at Torch tower in Dubai Marina

Two residents of the Torch said they were told the fire started around the 52nd floor

  • Fire damage is seen on high floors of the Torch Tower after it was extinguished at Dubai's Marina districtImage Credit: AP
  • Fire fighters and security personnel block the entrance to the Torch Tower after they extinguished a fire at tImage Credit: AP
  • Fire rages at Torch tower, Dubai.Image Credit: Gulf News reader Umair Abbasi
  • This photo provided by Rhea Saran shows flames coming from a high rise tower in Dubai's marina district SaImage Credit: AP
  • Fire rages at Torch tower, Dubai.Image Credit: Digby Taylor/GN Broadcasting
  • A firefighter near Torch tower.Image Credit: Digby Taylor/GN Broadcasting
  • Police and ambulance near Torch tower.Image Credit: Digby Taylor/GN Broadcasting
  • Fire at Torch tower.Image Credit: Digby Taylor/GN Broadcasting
  • Fire at Torch tower.Image Credit: Digby Taylor/GN Broadcasting
  • Torch building fireImage Credit: @CyrilleSekretev
  • Torch building on fireImage Credit: Khalid Mohammed Eid/GN Reader
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Dubai: A massive fire that broke out in the Torch tower at Dubai marina early Saturday morning has been brought under control, authorities said.

A medical response team said no fatalities were reported. It is not yet clear as to what caused the fire.

The blaze started on the 50th floor, a resident said. The Marina Torch is a residential skyscraper at the Dubai Marina. The tower is one of the tallest residential building in the world. The tower reaches 352m in height with 79 floors above ground.

No fatalities: Dubai Police

It was at about 5 am in the morning that the fire was brought under control, according to some eyewitnesses.

Fire

(Photo: Gulf News reader Ajmal Abdul Rahman)

As the fire broke out, police blocked off areas around the Torch, which still had power. Lights were on in many of the apartments inside and multiple fire trucks and police vehicles were on the scene.

fire

The fire blazes at 'The Torch', a residential high-rise tower in Dubai Marina, on February 21, 2015. (Reuters)

Residents of at least one neighbouring tower were told to evacuate as a precaution because of strong winds, but they were later allowed back inside.

Two residents of the Torch said they were told the fire started around the 52nd floor, reported agencies. Flaming material falling from the initial fire then set a lower part of the building ablaze, they said.

One of the residents, Steve Short, 53, of Liverpool, England, praised the work of firefighters who arrived quickly. He said fire alarms alerted residents to the blaze and building management sent workers knocking on doors to ensure residents got out.

Another view

Another view of the fire.  Photo by Gulf News reader Ericson Reyes

Video report: Digby Taylor, Head of Operations at GN Broadcasting

Updates

"This building has been plagued since opening with false fire alarms on an almost daily basis. I personally had threatend to call the civil defense on many occasions but was constantly fobbed off by the building management," says Digby Taylor, head of operations at GN Broadcasting.

Around 10 fire engines can been seen, water bowsers, police and ambulances. 

Fire at Torch tower.

Fire rages at Torch tower, Dubai. Picture by Digby Taylor/GN Broadcasting

The fire has started up again currently around floor 70 and above. High winds causing massive problems.

Fire has reached 70th floor, says Digby Taylor, head of operations at GN Broadcasting.

Debris falling from great height. Roads in Marina north all closed, debris on tram tracks.

Lights have gone out on the seaboard side of the building.

It's like the titanic going down, says a witness. 

The biggest danger is molten glass falling, says a witness.

Considering the scene people are calm. Police officer reports no casualties so far. 

People being rescued from the tower with smoke inhalation injuries. A resident said the fire alarm went off at 2.05am. "There have been three fire alarms every week recently and all were false. This time I heard it and said it must be false. But then I smelt smoke. I took my wallet and ran down along with my wife. We live on the 59th floor. "

Thousands of people have been evacuated and the fire is getting worse, according to witnesses. Chunks of masonry on fire are falling. The fire seems to have started near level 51. High winds are causing the fire to spread rapidly, says a witness.

Gulf News used a YouTube video of the fire by user Jaime Müller. The footage has now been removed.

Comments

16 Comments
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  • Gabriella Hansson-Boe

    Feb 21, 2015 5:12

    This is such a frightening story especially as many comments say; thebuildings are so close in the Marina. I am so very relieved that no onehave been seriously hurt! I have to say thank God for the amazing jobthe fire fighters did in what must have been impossible circumstanceswith a particularly raging sand storm! We are blessed to live in a cityand country such a vigilant security system! And please do not make funof the name of the building...I'm sure it is not a lot of 'fun' for thepeople who live there or who lost their homes and belongings. Again,thank the higher power that nobody got seriously injured!

  • Saqib

    Feb 21, 2015 4:46

    Its such sad news. Hope all the residents are safe, especially thechildren and elders.

  • Ranjit Chaudhuri

    Feb 21, 2015 4:25

    It is unfortunate the fire hit a famous tower. It is important toidentify the cause and solve it for all large towers in Dubai. Well doneDubai for saving lives and property.

  • Jose Emperado

    Feb 21, 2015 3:54

    Such a very beautiful building gone to waste! But don't you notice thatthe name of the building speaks for itself? TORCH TOWER! or the tower waspurposely torched by some groups. God forbid!

  • Peter Locke

    Feb 21, 2015 3:20

    Be interesting to see when those unlucky tenants are able to get backin. The Tamweel towerfire that hit in JLT in November 2012 which guttedseveral apartments has not had any work done or allowed the tenants backin. Now almost three years and building still an eyesore.

  • John

    Feb 21, 2015 1:09

    Firstly we have to be thankful that it seems no one was seriously hurtin this situation, there seems to be great praise for the Fire andRescue services who in my experience are first rate in Dubai. However,having owned several apartments in different Towers in Dubai, there is aMASSIVE difference in build and operational quality between differenttowers in not only Dubai but in the Marina specifically where there is ahigh concentration of these towers. This particular tower has hadalmost daily fire alarm incidents over the past 3 years and NOTHINGserious has it seems been addressed by the developer. We should not jumpthe gun here until we know the reason for this disaster, but this reallyneeds to be a wake up call for some of the not so responsible developersto realise their wider responsibilities to their residents and clients.There are some wonderful developers in Dubai; responsible qualityoperators, but there are also some real cowboys.Let's hope this incident can become a focus and wake up call for theauthorities to clamp down on some of these developers who it is oftenalleged do not take their responsibilities seriously with regards tosafety and their clients.

  • Lorna

    Feb 21, 2015 12:33

    It seems that this building should never have been called by this givenname- "Torch Tower". Sadly what has happened bares its name-Torch(ed) Tower building. The biggest dangers to these beautifulbuildings in Dubai, are the closeness of the buildings to each other. Ido hope that this will not be repeated again to other buildings in Dubai. My congratulations go to thefirefighters in Dubai, they gt together and had controlled the fire invery quick way. And for the many lives that were saved,.

  • Dania

    Feb 21, 2015 12:29

    Its not the first timeI heard or lived in a place of almost weekly false fire alarms.

  • Mohammad

    Feb 21, 2015 11:54

    Surprisingly no one disconnected the electricity of the tower. Its theprimary action when any building is on fire specially residential.

  • TMZ

    Feb 21, 2015 11:54

    Good coverage by GN.

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Latest Comment

This is such a frightening story especially as many comments say; thebuildings are so close in the Marina. I am so very relieved that no onehave been seriously hurt! I have to say thank God for the amazing jobthe fire fighters did in what must have been impossible circumstanceswith a particularly raging sand storm! We are blessed to live in a cityand country such a vigilant security system! And please do not make funof the name of the building...I'm sure it is not a lot of 'fun' for thepeople who live there or who lost their homes and belongings. Again,thank the higher power that nobody got seriously injured!

Gabriella Hansson-Boe

21 February 2015 17:37jump to comments
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