Sharjah: Days after a blazing fire scorched the Abbco Tower in Sharjah on May 5, residents say they are finding it hard to pick up the pieces of what little has been left for them in the aftermath of the horrific incident.
A resident of the tower, Rithesh Shetty, 35, who rents a two-bedroom unit on the 28th floor of the building said in the last few days he has been trying to get some order in his life.
An epileptic patient, Rithesh said the day after the fire, the first thing he did after waking up at the hotel – where residents of the tower were put up for few days – was shop for medicines at a nearby pharmacy.
“The next thing I did was buy clothes and other personal items,” said Shetty whose apartment is on the side which was most burnt.
He also cannot help thinking about the aquarium he left behind. “There are a 100 fish I look after. I don’t know if they are alive. Life has been hard the last few days.”
Shetty, who works as a systems engineer in the IT department of a private clinic said he has been told by authorities that he will be able to enter his apartment only in the presence of a Sharjah Police official.
“I am waiting to hear more on this,” he said.
“My passport was lying in the hall when I ran out of my apartment. I wish I had picked it up. My marriage documents, other educational certificates have all been burnt in the fire.”
“I cannot start any process until the Sharjah Police clears everything.
For Jeny Jame Manalo, 46, a marketing executive living in a studio flat in the building paying a rent of Dh20,000 per annum said she has been making several visits to Sharjah Police station to get a report from the authorities for the issuance of a new passport. “I need a police certificate for this before I can apply for a new passport in my embassy. Besides every day I find there is a need for some personal item or the other. I have been left with a migraine following the blaze. It is too much work and frustrating getting my life back in order.”
The same applies for Sharanya Pillai, 26 living in a one-bedroom unit of the building. She had to shop for all things – including toothpaste, toothbrush, hand sanitisers, masks, soaps, clothes and sanitary napkins. “An incident like this wakes you up to reality and reminds you to take stock of your life. Every day we take our lives for granted. Besides the obvious monetary loss staring us in the face, the sentimental loss is equally hurting,” she said.
A Good Samaritan who has been helping the residents out said women living in the building were lost the first day after the fire. “Disposable plates, cutlery, bowls, tissue boxes, baby food, toiletries, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, tooth brush, hair combs, brushes, sanitary napkins, food items like snacks, phone recharge cards, pampers for children formula milk were high on the list of demand.
“Hotel accommodation takes care of their stay. But for day-to-day living there are so many other essentials needed. My friends and I are doing what we can to help these distressed people out in times of their need.”
“One resident left his wallet behind at home. His debit and credit cards, Emirates ID has all gone. He cannot go home to pick up the things until the Sharjah Police lets him in.”
Meanwhile, the Sharjah Charity Association (SCA) is ensuring the temporary shelter for affected residents of Abbco Tower for another five days.
This follows directives issued by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.