Residents return to Dubai tower damaged by fire

Recovery begins after huge blaze at 8 Boulevard Walk in Business Bay on Monday

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Residents of a fire-damaged tower in Business Bay have moved back into their apartments after the building was evacuated in the early hours of Monday.

Flames could be seen on the cladding of 8 Boulevard Walk shortly after 2am, when a fire broke out on the fourth floor of the 35-storey residential building in Downtown Dubai.

Although the worst damage was reported in the series of corner apartments, water damage was reported elsewhere due to the building's sprinkler system.

'I knew we had to get out'

Real estate broker Yasmin Mohammed lives on the 31st floor in the 06 series of apartments, opposite where the fire broke out.

“When I heard the fire alarm, I thought it was someone messing around and it would be over in a few minutes,” she said.

“It didn’t stop and got quite loud so I went to balcony to see what was happening — I could see the reflection of fire in the glass of the building opposite so I knew we had to get out.”

Like about 400 of her neighbours, Ms Mohammed was taken to a nearby hotel by rescue workers.

She received a call from building owner Emaar at about 2pm on Monday afternoon to say residents could return to the building to retrieve essential items.

“I immediately went back to the building but the civil defence was restricting who could go back inside, so we had to wait outside for an hour or two,” said Ms Mohammed, who lives with her son.

“I was on the 31st floor so had to climb a lot of stairs, and Emaar had someone come with me.

“I grabbed some clothes, enough for three days, and my laptop and charger.

“I carried the bag back downstairs and returned to The Rove hotel where we were staying.”

No injuries or casualties were reported by Dubai Civil Defence, which arrived on the scene five minutes after they were alerted to the blaze at 3.11am.

The flames had been brought under control by 4.52am and all residents evacuated to nearby hotels, including The Address, The Rove and Ramada.

Although an investigation is ongoing into the cause of the fire, details have not yet been released.

The incident is now in the hands of Dubai Police fire experts.

Not all residents have been allowed back into their apartments as the clean-up continues.

Burnt debris from the exterior cladding had fallen on to balconies below, while other apartments had flooded carpets and flooring to replace.

Moving back in

Peri Hellyer, a resident of the 14th floor, praised the efforts of maintenance workers and Emaar staff, who helped people evacuate on Monday and have since been on hand for the clean-up.

“When I got back into my apartment, I could see some debris on my balcony,” said Ms Hellyer, who has lived in the building for 11 years.

“The carpets were drenched but everything on the walls was mostly fine.

“I moved back in to continue cleaning up and slept there on Monday night.

“It is clear the fourth floor is worst hit, but there is some damage on the fifth floor and most of the 10 units on the corner of the building.”

Maintenance crews helped Ms Hellyer to remove sodden carpets and take them outside to dry.

“Only one lift was operational, so I asked for some help to clear the water from my apartment and Emaar carried a machine up 14 flights of stairs to help me,” she said.

“The maintenance teams have been amazing.”

Updated: November 11, 2022, 3:16 AM
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