Monday, 30 August 2010

Fire Tragedy

There was recently a fire in an apartment block on my street in Abu Dhabi. Fires are more common than you would expect here and for the first time in my life I am concerned with where the fire escapes and extinguishers are.
I was treating myself to an afternoon nap and thought nothing of the sirens blazing outside my building. I'm from Oldham after all, so it's a daily occurance. It was only after about 30 minutes of constant sirens that I realised something might be wrong, so I decided to get out of my nap and have a look out of the window.
I saw that the road outside was completely deserted in one direction which is totally uncommon for a street in Abu Dhabi. I decided to go down the road and investigate. I quickly saw towering smoke plumes and a building still engulfed in orange flames. The fire was so intense that cars next to the building also caught fire. I was quite shocked by the whole scene.
The fire made the newspaper for several days afterward. Thankfully no one was seriously injured although all residents were made homeless. The blaze apparently started in a shop on the ground floor. What was scary is that it happened at 3.30pm in the middle of the day, but spread so quickly it still managed to destroy the first few floors of the building.
There are terrible building fires fairly frequently in the UAE. The building are very close together and safety procedures such as fire escapes, alarms and extinguishers are not always followed. I have began to take a bit more of an interest in the fire escapes while I'm out and about, I do not want to get caught up in a burning building out here.

pictures and news report ...
http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100828/NATIONAL/100824882&SearchID=73401447318324
http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100829/NATIONAL/708289868&SearchID=73401447318324

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living in the United Arab Emirates