Rescue crews evacuate Dubai tower as flames rip through building

Fire crews were called to a major fire at Tamweel Tower in Dubai's Jumeirah Lakes Towers early this morning.

Flames were seen by many in Dubai after the fire broke out in the Tamweel Tower. Courtesy Antoine Adams
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DUBAI // A fire gutted half of a residential tower block in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) early this morning.

Authorities have confirmed that there were no casualties, and emergency services have contained the fire in Tamweel Tower.

The blaze started on the roof of the 34-floor Tamweel Tower, and residents were evacuated around 2am as the fire spread down the facade of the building.

According to an official statement from Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, the licensing authority for JLT, all previously evacuated towers that were not affected by the fire have been reopened and relevant authorities are on site to manage the situation.

"The fire alarm went off at 2.30am and at first we thought they were just testing the system," said Ildo Son, 37, from Korea.
"Then we looked out of the window and saw lots of fire crews waving for us to come out."

He and his wife Marta Martinez had moved to the neighbouring Al Seef tower just two weeks ago, and were already having second thoughts.

“After seeing what happened here, we just wish that we’d moved to a house instead. We’re on the 21st floor, so I can’t imagine what it would be like to walk down those stairs if there was also a fire in our building.”

The residents of Tamweel Tower have been banned from re-entering their building for 24 hours.

DMCC has arranged hotel accommodation for all affected Tamweel Tower residents. More than 30 people from Tamweel Tower have already checked in to the Bonnington Hotel, and another eight people are on the waiting list.

The owner of a nearby cafe also stepped in to help displaced residents.

"We're just trying to be good neighbours, we've been offering free coffee and tea, and charge their phones," said Shujah Qadir, owner of nearby UAE cafe, Sheikh and Shake. "It's the least we can do at this time."