Tape cordons off the residential villa in Bani Yas East 7, on the outskirts of the capital, where eight Emiratis — three women and five children from one family — died in a fire. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A short circuit had caused the deadly fire in a villa in Bani Yas last week in which eight Emiratis died, Abu Dhabi Police said on Saturday.

Investigations have proved that cause of the fire was a short circuit in electrical extensions in a corner of the main hall in the villa. The fire had started from there.

Eight Emiratis – three women and five children – from one family were killed and four were injured in the fire, which started shortly before the pre-dawn Muslim prayer last Tuesday at a residential villa in Bani Yas East 7, opposite Al Imam Al Nawawi Mosque on the outskirts of the capital.

Abu Dhabi Police called on the public to ensure the validity of electrical appliances, wiring and extensions and urged the periodic testing of fire extinguishers in homes.

Most villas in Bani Yas are old and do not have fire alarms installed.

Ali Al Kotheri, owner of the fire-hit villa, earlier told Gulf News that the villa was not old but did not have a fire alarm system.

Recalling the incident, he had said: “I went out for Fajr [pre-dawn] prayers on Tuesday and when I returned I found my house was filled with smoke and fire. There were 20 members of the family sleeping at that time and we rescued 12 of them – eight of them died of suffocation.”

Poor electrical extensions

Police said fires caused by the electrical faults are due to poor electrical connections and the lack of knowledge of the seriousness of the risks.

Police also said that the hiring of workers who are not competent in the work of repairs and electrical wiring is also attributable as a reason for such fires.

The police called on public not to leave the residues of cooking oils near the source of fires and avoid loading electrical plugs of devices above their power capacity.

It advised residents to disconnect the electricity when leaving the house for long periods, unplug mobile devices and keep matchboxes and candles out of the reach of children.

Eyewitnesses and neighbours told Gulf News that when they woke up for Tuesday’s the early morning prayer they heard police sirens but never realised that such a tragic incident had happened in their area.

They said that the incident happened at around 4.30am on Tuesday, adding the family was very dear to them and they used to visit the family at their home.

A huge crowd from the neighbourhood had gathered to try and rescue the family but the fire had quickly engulfed all floors of the villa. The members of the family, including the children, suffocated to death from the smoke.

The villa is old, constructed with two and a half stories. The police had cordoned off the area.

Funeral prayers were held last Tuesday after Asr [afternoon] prayers at Bani Yas graveyard.