Mike Ulanski had renewed the lease on his apartment on the 69th floor of The Torch just weeks before a fire ripped through the building for a second time.
He was due to play a gig at Stars ‘n’ Bars in Yas Island on Saturday night with his band, The Shakedown, but that is in doubt as he fears he has lost equipment worth about Dh20,000. Luckily he has insurance.
“The alarm went off and I knew this was different,” the 32-year-old from Cincinnati said.
“I quickly got dressed and grabbed my passport and wallet.
“As soon as I heard it, I knew I had to get downstairs. It was Thursday night, and 1am – I knew it wasn’t a drill."
“My neighbours had just moved out, but I shouted at the neighbours across the hallway and they came out.
“We were at the right height, and at the opposite side of the building – so I couldn’t feel the heat or see and smoke in the stairwell.
“There were some girls coming down the stairs from above me, who said they could see the fire so then I realised it was pretty serious.
Pictures: The Torch fire
“I wasn’t going trust hallway chatter, so just got out as quickly as possible. We could only go one way.
“My only regret is not having a bug-out bag, I just managed to grab my passport, wallet and phone but everything else was in the flat.
“It was such as rush, I don’t remember if the sprinklers had come on in the flat.
“If they did everything in there would have been ruined.”