emergencies

Five people die of suffocation after apartment fire in Sharjah

Fire gutted an apartment on the first floor of a building in Al Buteenah area, Sharjah

Aghaddir Ali & Ashfaq Ahmed, Gulf News
16:35 February 12, 2018
Fire Shj 2
Five people die of suffocation after apartment fire in Sharjah
Five people die of suffocation after apartment fire in Sharjah
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Sharjah: Five people, including a mother and her two children, died of suffocation after a fire broke out on Monday in an apartment building in Sharjah, officials confirmed.

At least six people are now recovering at Kuwait Hospital from the symptoms of suffocation. The fire gutted an apartment on the first floor of the building in Al Buteenah area, Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqbi told Gulf News.

Ten others, including nine Anjad officers and one from the Civil Defence, sustained minor to medium injuries and received treatment from the National Ambulance units present at the scene.

The victims included a Moroccan woman, 41, and her two children, aged 4 and 6, an Indian male, 32, and a Pakistani woman, 34.

Bodies of the three adults were taken to Al Kuwaiti Hospital while the two children were taken to Al Qasimi Hospital.

Investigations on

The cause of the fire was not immediately known and the forensic team took over the site for investigation. Initial reports suggested the fire might have started from the air-conditioning unit.

“The fire gutted an apartment on the first floor of the building and its smoke spread in the whole building,” Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, director-general of Sharjah Civil Defence told Gulf News.

Colonel Al Naqbi said the fire broke out around 1.12am and tenants were evacuated from the 15-apartment building.

According to the Sharjah Media Bureau, quick response from Sharjah Civil Defence and Anjad patrols averted a bigger disaster and saved dozens of lives as they managed to contain the blaze within a record time that did not exceed two minutes after reaching the spot.

Police cordoned off the area and sealed the building as a rescue team evacuated the residents.

An official at Al Qassimi Hospital told Gulf News that they received ten patients and one of them was a firefighter.

Dr Eisa Al Moa’almi, head of the emergency department at Kuwait Hospital, said the hospital received five victims, including three dead.

He said the two of the injured included a Sudanese man, 43, and woman, 42.

Critical condition

The woman was admitted to the ICU in a critical condition, while the man was said to be stable.

The man told doctors that he heard noises outside and went to investigate, and saw the corridor and staircase was full of smoke and a fire was raging. The duo lived on the third floor.

They tried to go down but could not due to the thick smoke. Eventually they fell unconscious due to smoke inhalation, and were rescued by the team.

A police official said that the building lacked fire safety equipment and the watchman was also not present at the time.

Brigadier Mohammad Rashid Bayat, Director of Sharjah Police Operations, who visited the spot, told Gulf News that it was too early to pinpoint the cause of the fire. He said the initial investigation revealed that the fire started in the air conditioner of a flat located on the first floor.

Deadly fire: Five people, including two children were killed in the fire that erupted in this Sharjah building. — Arshad Ali / Gulf News

The residents of the apartment [two bachelors] who were inside the flat fled the place once the fire engulfed their apartment.

The smoke from the fire spread to the apartments on the second and third floors, resulting in the deaths of five people from smoke inhalation.

Brigadier Bayat said that there was no criminal motive behind the fire.

 

Brig. Mohammad Rashid Bryant, Director of Sharjah Police Operations Department, talking to media after inspecting the fire site. — Ashfaq Ahmed/Gulf News

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Five people die of suffocation after apartment fire in Sharjah

The building owner has provided temporary accommodation to tenants.

He said that the owner of the building has provided temporary accommodation for evacuated residents.

Some relatives and friends of the residents gathered on the spot to inquire about the fate of their loved ones.

Salman Shafiq, whose sister and his wife were friends of the Pakistani woman who died in the fire, told Gulf News that he came from Abu Dhabi as soon as he heard the news from his sister.

The deceased identified as Ghazal, 34, worked in a bank in Dubai, he said. Ghazal was living alone.

Friends of the Morocco woman who worked with her at the Sharjah Ladies Club were seen crying upon learning about her death.

Meanwhile, Major General Saif Al Ziri Al Shamsi, Sharjah Police commander-in-chief, expressed his deep regret and condolences to the families of the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

He said that the owner of the building has provided temporary accommodation for evacuated residents.

Some relatives and friends of the residents gathered on the spot to inquire about the fate of their loved ones.

Salman Shafiq, whose sister and his wife were friends of the Pakistani woman who died in the fire, told Gulf News that he came from Abu Dhabi as soon as he heard the news from his sister.

The deceased identified as Ghazal, 34, worked in a bank in Dubai, he said. Ghazal was living alone.

Friends of the Moroccan woman who worked with her at the Sharjah Ladies Club were seen crying upon learning about her death.

Meanwhile, Major General Saif Al Ziri Al Shamsi, Sharjah Police commander-in-chief, expressed his deep regret and condolences to the families of the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery.