Ajman: More than 300 residents in 130 flats were evacuated when a fire broke out in a 12-story building in Ajman on Saturday.
Massive fire completely burnt one side of the residential building in Liwara 2 area in Ajman.
Though the fire was brought under control within two hours after it started at around 2pm on Saturday, hundreds of residents became homeless. The cause of the fire is still unknown. Initial investigation showed that the fire started at the apartment on the sixth floor of the building and fire spread towards the upper floors.
At least nine apartments were completely burnt while dozens of others were partially damaged after the police evacuated the residents. No injuries were reported, however, three children who suffered from smoke inhalation were treated on the site.
Police cordoned off the area as debris from the burning building continued to fall on the ground.
Major General Jassem Mohammad Al Marzouqi, General Commander of Civil Defence at the Ministry of Interior and Brigadier Abdul Aziz Ali Al Shamsi, Director General of Ajman Civil Defence, rushed to the site to supervise the firefighting operation.
Owner of building provided immediate assistance to the affected people and accommodated them in hotels until suitable housing is arranged for them.
It’s impossible to stay in the flat or the building … the smell of smoke has covered the area and our children have allergy for smoke.”
- Ahmad | Resident
Residents whose apartments were not affected due to fire were allowed to return to their homes after the electricity was restored at 11pm on Saturday.
Ajman Police official told Gulf News that it was too early to predict the actual cause of the fire. “The site has been handed over to the forensic experts to determine the cause of the fire,” he said.
A large number of Ajman Police officials rushed to the site and provided help to residents as well as regulate the movement of the traffic after roads were blocked.
Umm Mohammad, a resident of flat number 1004, told Gulf News that her son Mohammad informed his family members about the fire when he heard the alarm and saw thick smoke.
“At first, we thought it was a false alarm but we ran out of the building when we saw smoke,” he said.
She said her family members were crying under the building as they informed Civil Defence about their father who was stuck in the building. The Civil Defence team managed to bring him out safely.
Umm Mohammad and her husband as well as their children Ghaitha, 11, Mohammad, 10, and Hamza were provided hotel accommodation. They could not attend the school because their books and uniforms were all burnt in the fire.
Another resident Ahmad and his wife Duaa, residents of flat number 905, returned to their apartment to pick a few important things.
They along with their two children aged nine and five have taken shelter in a relative’s house.
“It’s impossible to stay in the flat or the building … the smell of smoke has covered the area and our children have allergy for smoke,” Ahmad said.
Hani, resident of flat number 1003, told Gulf News the building was on fire when he came back from his home country on Saturday. “I still don’t know what happened to my apartment as I still did not go there,” he said.
Many residents of the building claimed that the fire started as one of the residents was repairing his refrigerator in the balcony and then it exploded and caused the fire.
However, their claims were not confirmed.
Four fire stations from Ajman in addition to firefighters from Sharjah participated in the operation to put out the fire.