A rescue helicopter hovers near Al Aneeqa Tower, a high-rise residential building in Sharjah’s Al Nahda area, where a fire broke out yesterday. Six people, including a mother and her three children, were treated for smoke inhalation after the fire swept through 17 floors of the 33-storey tower. The four were among residents airlifted to hospital. Those whose apartments were destroyed were given temporary shelter in hotels. Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, personally monitored efforts to contain the blaze. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Sharjah: A massive fire broke out at a high-rise residential tower on Tuesday in the Al Nahda area in Sharjah that left six people injured.

A senior official at Sharjah Civil Defence said the fire broke out at 12.50pm at the 33-storey Al Aneeqa Tower which completely gutted 17 floors.

"From our initial investigation, we found out that the fire originated from an apartment on the eighth floor that was owned by an Afghani family. We suspect that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit, but we need further investigation to confirm that theory," said Brigadier Abdullah Al Suwaidi, Director General of Sharjah Civil Defence.

Speaking to reporters at the scene, Brig Al Suwaidi said six people suffered from smoke inhalation, including a Palestinian mother and her three children, and two young Jordanian men.

"The victims were rescued by Sharjah Police with the aid of a helicopter, who carried the victims out of the building and took them to hospital. The fire was fuelled by the strong winds, but we managed to successfully evacuate the tenants before the fire grew out of control."

The fire was put out with the cooperation of ten teams made up of Dubai Civil Defence and several fire stations in Sharjah.

"A helicopter was also deployed to douse the fire and assist residents in evacuating the building, and while the fire was put out within one hour it took us several hours to complete the cooling process," said Brig Al Suwaidi.

The families that lost their homes have been put up in various hotels, according to the owner.

"We have provided all the affected tenants with hotel accommodation," commented Saeed Awad, owner of the building.