Displaced residents make best of the situation

Residents affected by the fire that broke out in The Torch tower in Dubai Marina at the weekend have been moved to a nearby hotel while the extent of the damage is assessed.
The exact cause of Saturday’s Torch tower blaze is yet to be determined. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
The exact cause of Saturday’s Torch tower blaze is yet to be determined. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

DUBAI // Residents affected by the fire that broke out in The Torch tower in Dubai Marina at the weekend have been moved to a nearby hotel while the extent of the damage is assessed.

People living in units 02 and 03 on floors 30 to 50 and units 01 and 08 on floors 50 to 84 have been offered rooms at the Gloria Hotel in Internet City, the building’s management company, Kingfield Owner Association Management Services, said.

The company said that all other residents from units not on the list will be informed when they can return to their apartments.

Kingfield has also arranged temporary shelter in the adjacent Princess Tower.

More than 1,000 people fled after a fire broke out at around 2am on Saturday in one of the tallest residential buildings in the world.

Sabastian, from France, who lived on the 13th floor, said people living up to floor 28 were allowed to return to their apartments on Sunday.

“There are only two lifts working and a resident has to request that they be able to use one to go get their belongings or enter the apartment. There is a person escorting them in the lifts,” he said. “Residents living past floor 50 are still not allowed up, and only residents up to floor 28 are allowed to go back and stay. I am staying at a hotel, which my company is paying for.”

The exact cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

Mark Fenton, from Honeywell Life Safety, said awareness of fire safety regulations among residents is crucial.

“Residents need to equip themselves with basic safety knowledge, including the key causes of fire around the home and ensure they know what to do should a fire incident occur,” he said. “People tend to panic because the lifts do not work when a fire breaks out, but that is normal.

“People shouldn’t try and gather lots of belongings, the priority is to get out of the building as fast as possible.”

A lot of high-rise buildings will not evacuate 30 or 40 floors in one go, said Mr Fenton. Evacuation of the floor where the fire broke out should be first, and possibly the one below and the above so that people do not suffer from smoke inhalation.

“If fire alarms are going off, residents have a right to know what’s happening and should be notified in case of a drill. As Dubai and the UAE continue to grow rapidly and we see more and more buildings being added to the skyline, we need to ensure that the correct fire safety solutions and technology are being applied to protect residents.”

dmoukhallati@thenational.ae

Published: February 22, 2015 04:00 AM

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