An Emirati boy saved his family from a devastating fire that broke out in their Kalba home in Sharjah on Wednesday morning.
The incident happened in the early hours when Ahmed Al Naqbi, 10, woke up believing it was time to go to school.
“After realising it was still night time he returned to his bed,” his father, Haitham Al Naqbi, 36, told The National.
But Ahmed noticed an unusual odour, like something burning, and decided to wake up his father.
“I thought my son might have had a bad dream when he approached me with concerns about the strange smell," Mr Al Naqbi said.
"I hugged him and took him to wash his face then walked with him to his room to go back to sleep.”
In Ahmed's room, he saw smoke and fire from the air conditioning unit spreading throughout the room.
The father immediately evacuated his five children, aged 10, 9, 7, 2, and a one-year-old as well as his wife and placed them safely in the car outside the house.
Mr Al Naqbi re-entered the house to use the fire extinguishers while the Hasantuk fire safety system alerted the civil defence teams, who arrived promptly.
“When I entered the first floor of the house, the windows began to shatter and the flames were spreading and I was forced to retreat,” Mr Al Naqbi said.
"At the end of it, I thank God for this fate because the house is replaceable. What is important is that my family, my children, are fine."
The family moved into their new home less than a year ago, with all new air-conditioning devices that were well maintained.
The fire caused significant damage, with cracks in the wall and furniture destroyed. The family have relocated temporarily to Mr Al Naqbi's father's house while repairs are completed.
“I am proud of Ahmed's quick thinking and sense of responsibility, which saved all our lives," he said.
Mr Al Naqbi said Ahmed is known for his strong personality, excellence in school and his involvement in football, with the Kalba City Club and the UAE national football team.
“Their mother and myself have always instilled a sense of responsibility in our children, teaching them about the potential dangers associated with various equipment,” he said.