Dubai: Civil Defence teams responded to the Tamweel Tower fire in just four minutes, with teams of firefighters bravely trawling every room on every floor — looking for survivors.
Crews battled the flames from 2am until 8am — when it was finally extinguished.
One firefighter told Gulf News: “This is very dangerous work, but we are so happy that we managed to save people’s lives and rescue people. We made sure we checked behind every single door, every room, as our biggest fear was that someone was still inside the building sleeping. We started checking from the top down as that is where the fire was at its worst. We had to make sure everyone was okay.”
Maj Gen Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Acting Director General of UAE Civil Defence and Director General of Dubai Civil Defence, praised his team. He told Gulf News: “Thankfully, no one was injured in the fire. They worked very hard in dangerous conditions to get the people out of there.”
Al Matroushi suspects the fire broke out in the middle of the building before spreading to floors above and below, eventually reaching the 34th floor as well.
He confirmed that all apartments on the top three floors of the building were burned completely.
“There were 11 vehicles parked under the building which also caught fire from falling debris which was alight. Six of them were completely burned after debris from the building started to fall on the street,” Al Matroushi said.
He said investigations are ongoing into the cause behind the fire.
Fifteen fire-fighting vehicles participated in the massive operation to douse the flames. Police teams and tankers with water were also on the scene. The police blocked the roads leading to the cluster for several hours.
Al Matroushi explained how firefighters checked every room in the burning tower to make sure there was no one trapped inside before starting to put out the blaze.
“Firefighters usually check each and every room in any building on fire because they want to be sure that it is empty and that there is no one left inside. That takes a long time for civil defence teams, especially due to the fact that Tamweel Tower is such a huge building,” he said.