Dubai: A fire that broke out in a cargo dhow on Dubai Creek at 3.44pm was put out at 6.08pm on Sunday, according to Dubai Civil Defence.
Maj Gen Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director General of Dubai Civil Defence, who was supervising the firefighting operation on site, said teams and vehicles from six stations took part in extinguishing the blaze and cooling down the burning ship.
Maj Ali Hassan Al Mutawa, Director of Operations Department at Dubai Civil Defence, confirmed that the fire caused no injuries. The dhow contained car tyres, diesel and plastic equipment. It was docked on the Deira side of the Creek opposite Dubai Municipality. No information was available on what caused the fire.
Thousands of people gathered on the Creek to watch the fire.
Worried and curious residents from areas around the Creek in Deira flocked to the site as they saw clouds of smoke billowing from the boat which could be seen from as far as the Safa toll gate on Shaikh Zayed Road.
"As I was driving back home from my workplace on Airport Road, I saw clouds of smoke. Initially I thought it was on the other side of Al Ghurair Centre. But as I got closer, I panicked as the fire could be somewhere near my house," Carlos, a Deira resident, said.
"I could see the smoke from my house and got worried as only recently there was another fire. I rushed to the place and as I came here, I saw the fire had spread quickly," Paresh, an eyewitness who lives on the old Al Riqqa Road, said. Hundreds of men, women and kids gathered at the Creek to look at the sight as fire tenders doused the flames.
Residents called newspaper offices and sent text messages and BBMs to pass on information about the fire.
"I got to know about it from a friend who sent me a text on my messenger. We know it's not healthy to inhale this soot but I wanted to see what had happened," Rahul, a student, who was cycling around the area, said.
Traffic moved at snail's pace around Salahuddin Road during the evening as numerous fire tenders and ambulances rushed to the spot.
Goods, including food items that appeared to be awaiting loading, were piled alongside the Creek. Meanwhile, abras and water taxis continued ferrying passengers.
Earlier this year, two dhows loaded with cars, foodstuff and other commodities were gutted in a blaze which left one sailor injured and caused material losses.
The fire spread from the first dhow to another as a result of strong winds on February 18.