Sharjah : The putrid smell of burnt metal and plastic hung in the air as scores gathered outside the fire ravaged Abbco Tower near Sharjah’s Al Nahda Park on Wednesday afternoon.
The crowd included many for whom the high-rise was home until yesterday.
Rendered homeless overnight, they stared at the building in disbelief, wondering if things would ever be the same again.
“My place was up there,” said an South African expat pointing to a real black-charred window.
“I don’t know if I will be able to ever return,” he said.
Indian housewife Sapna, who lived on the 17th floor said her apartment bore the full brunt of the fire.
“Everything has been destroyed. We moved here just last year,” she said.
Mangled remains of cars wrecked by blazing debris lay scattered below the tower.
“This thing here was my trusted companion for five years,” said an Indian man, lovingly patting the scorched bonnet of a saloon, now reduced to a burnt shell.
Shards of glass from damaged vehicles littered the ground leading to the front entrance which has been secured by the police.
“It’s a catastrophe. Both my apartment and car has been gutted. I was already struggling because of salary cuts and now I have been dealt another blow,” said a resident.
Meanwhile Dubai based Pakistani restaurateur Shahbaz Qureshi has offered to help fire victims with free meals. “This is the least I could do,” said Qureshi, owner of Hazara Group which runs four casual dining restaurants – all located in International City