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Mangled remains of cars at the base of the fire-hit tower. Image Credit: Mazhar Farooqui

Sharjah: Evacuated tenants of Abbco Tower in Al Nahda, Sharjah, which caught fire on Tuesday, were transported to two hotels for complimentary stay, a top official said.

Major General Saif Ziri Al Shamsi, Commander-in Chief, Sharjah Police, said that the force, in cooperation with Emirates Red Crescent and Sharjah Charity Association, transported the tenants in six buses to the hotels in Sharjah.

The tenants were grouped into 'families' and 'bachelors'. Families were accommodated in a nearby hotel, while bachelors were accommodated in a different hotel.

The owner of the building has agreed to pay for the tenants’ accommodation.

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The fire-ravaged tower in Sharjah. Image Credit: Mazhar Farooqui

Sharjah Police, Emirates Red Crescent and Sharjah Charity Association will provide tenants with meals as well as essential items.

Committee for follow-up measures

Police will form a committee to follow up on the issues that the tenants are facing and help those who lost important documents in the fire by issuing new ones.

As many as 78 rooms had been provided as of midday on Wednesday at Al Salam Grand Hotel. The hotel has pledged 100 rooms.

The tenants were transported to the hotel in Al Taawun after a blaze engulfed an entire side of the multistorey residential building in Al Nahda on Tuesday night.

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The damage caused by the fire is being assessed Image Credit: Mazhar Farooqui

Nine people sustained minor injuries. Authorities are investigating what caused the fire.

On Wednesday, Ahmad Mohammad, general manager of Al Salam Grand Hotel, told Gulf News that when the hotel’s owner learnt about the fire, he notified the authorities that the hotel was ready to host the tenants.

Extending support

“Finding yourself out on the street, without a home, during Ramadan, in these tough times of coronavirus, is extremely difficult. So, the owner wanted to support the people affected by this incident,” said Mohammad.

Most guests were accommodated overnight, with some coming to the hotel on Wednesday morning. The guests only need to show an approval from Buhairah Police Station before being allotted a room.

Depending upon the room type, only two to three people are put up in a room. There are social-distancing norms to be followed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mohammad said: “Right now, we want the guests to relax. We want to support them with what’s in our hands.”

‘I lost everything’

Kenyan expat Davidson K., one of the tenants staying at the hotel, said: “I lost everything” in the fire.

“I came out with just my phone and the clothes I’m wearing. It’s a life-changing experience. With that kind of trauma, I think for many people life will never be the same,” he added.

Davidson said around midnight, he was among the tenants whose details were taken by the police and directed to the hotels.

“I had just renewed my rent contract and paid up for six months. My apartment is owned by a [GCC] national who is outside the UAE. It’s a tough situation as you can imagine, with the fire, the coronavirus pandemic, the job market," he added.