Massive fire breaks out at Dubai Torch Tower, no injuries

Posted August 05, 2017

A large fire swept through the residential Torch Tower in Dubai overnight, with firefighters working to save the 79-storey building.

One video showed flaming debris falling from the skyscraper.

Dubai Police and Civil Defense quickly evacuated the structure, and firefighters brought the flames under control within about two hours, officials of the United Arab Emirates said.

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More than 40 floors of the 86-storey Marina Torch (more commonly referred to as The Torch tower) were engulfed by flames.

But the dramatic fire prompted conversations over long-standing concerns about the sort of cladding used in Dubai towers. They also shared that the fire was bad and strong at about 1:00 A.M. but it started calming down after the next two hours. They said we may be able to get back into the building at 7.30pm tonight, but that looks doubtful. "We ran down the stairs and it took us about 10 minutes to reach from the 50th floor", a resident told reporters.

The skyscraper had already been damaged in February 2015 by a fire that had not been victims.

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A spate of similar fires in Dubai led to a new fire and safety code forcing builders "to ensure that the flammability of the cladding is as close to zero as possible". The teams carried out inspections in 597 apartments and evacuated 475 people who were sheltered in three nearby hotels.

Dubai is a trade, tourism and investment hub for the Gulf region, and is one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Dubai's civil defence authorities said firefighting squads put out the blaze by around 4.00 am (0000 GMT) and were cooling the 1,105 foot (337 metre) tall Torch tower.

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The blaze ripped through multiple floors of the new building, in the expat-heavy Marina district of the city.