A massive fire has torn through a plush residential apartment block on Dubai’s Palm Island. Images from the scene show flames licking part of the tower block, with at least one penthouse ablaze.
Flames spread rapidly through the building as fire fighters rushed to the building. Thankfully, everyone in the block was safely evacuated and no injuries were reported. It is not yet known what caused the blaze, but fire officers are now investigating.
The blaze is just the latest in a number of fires to have broken out in tower blocks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, including residential and hotel buildings. Earlier this year, 13 people, including emergency services workers, were injured when a partially constructed building in Abu Dhabi caught fire.
The same month, a fire damaged a partially built tower in Dubai, while in July, a the Sulafa Tower in the Marina District caught fire. On New Year’s Eve, 16 people were injured in a fire at a 63-storey residential block.
In a big to prevent fires, new safety regulations were introduced three years ago which state that all blocks which are more than 15 metres tall in the UAE must be covered in fire resistant exterior cladding. But, the new rules only apply to new buildings. Those already constructed do not have to make any changes.
Oceana security guards confirmed that they had evacuated the building, while residents said that a British man and his girlfriend had been questioned earlier by police about starting a barbecue at a penthouse flat. The section of the building affected is understood to be the Adriatic building.
One Australian resident said he thought he smelled burning a couple of hours before everyone was evacuated at 10.30pm, but having checked around his own apartment, he thought everything was okay. He said he grabbed his passport and macbook and left. Residents have now been allowed back in some apartments.