A massive fire broke out at a residential tower in Al Nahda in Sharjah on Tuesday night. Of the 12 people who were injured, five were rushed to hospital with smoke inhilation and seven were treated at the scene. The quick response by Sharjah Civil Defence teams averted a major disaster. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined. Initial reports say the fire broke out on the 10th floor of the Abbco Tower at 9.04pm, moving up quickly due to cladding. Tenants were evacuated from the 49-storey building which consists of 38 residential floors, two floors for services and nine levels of car parking. Each floor has 12 flats.
The fire was brought under control two hours after civil defence received the first fire alert. Personnel from Mina and Al Nahda fire stations attended the scene, while the Sharjah Police Air Wing was also called into action. National Ambulance dispatched five vehicles to the scene, an official said. One side of the building was almost entirely destroyed.
Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, Director-General of Sharjah Civil Defence, told Gulf News the cooling operation was under way. Col. Al Naqbi added that all residents were evacuated before the fire spread, which helped avoid serious injury and prevent the blaze from spreading to neighbouring buildings. The police used a drone to check if there were any people trapped inside, said Colonel Dr. Ali Abu Al Zoud, Deputy Director General of Central Operations of Sharjah Police.
A number of vehicles parked below the building were damaged by the blaze. Chunks of burning debris could be seen falling from the burning exterior shell of the building and drifting to the ground. Residents of the nearby buildings were immediately evacuated for their safety.