Picture horror: Inside JLT Tamweel Tower Homes where all was lost in fire

Residents of the top-most floors count the cost of vaulables lost, which in some cases is at least Dh300,000

Although many Tamweel Tower residents affected by the fire in Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) have escaped with minimal damage to their apartments, there are those who have lost everything. 

The apartment belonging to MS on the 27th floor of the Tamweel Tower in JLT. (Supplied)

He woke up with the fire alarm. When looking outside the window, his wife had the shock of her life.

"There was a huge wall of fire right outside the apartment." 

That is how MS and his family, who lived on the 27th floor of Tamweel Tower, the 34-floor residential building that was struck by fire on November 17 night begins his story.

Remains of an apartment on the 23rd floor of the Tamweel Tower in JLT. (Supplied)

Ten days later the story ends with shocking pictures of the damage that destroyed his home.

The fire started on the roof top level and quickly spread down to the underlying apartments. The higher the apartment, the more the fire has done its damage, explains MS.

Little is left of the 3-bedroom apartment MS and his family used to occupy.

The apartment belonging to MS on the 27th floor of the Tamweel Tower in JLT. (Supplied)

An iconic white couch covered in soot stands out between the blackened walls of the living room, where the fire entered the apartment.

The bedroom shows the remains of what was once a king- sized bed; now reduced to a rusted framework.

Clothes, five expensive watches, jewellery, perfumes, photo albums of the children when they were just born…MS tries to remember what he lost in valuables.

 

"Right now I cannot remember half of the things. We will probably start missing things over the days to come."

When he calculates the value of lost belongings in the bedroom only, MS comes to an amount of Dh300,000. 

JB, a resident who lost her apartment on the 12th floor tries to do the same. 

The apartment belonging to MS on the 27th floor of the Tamweel Tower in JLT. (Supplied)

A rough estimate of the value of the furniture amounts to Dh100,000 at least. "But it is difficult to imagine the value of all your clothes," she says.

"The TV, the sofa, the balcony…" remembers SS, describing what was destroyed the fire that gutted her 3- bedroom apartment on the 30th floor.

"Two rooms are untouched. But the rest is completely gone." 

What is not burnt is affected in other ways.

"A lot of damage was done by the smoke and the water too," says MS.

He describes yellow walls, electrical equipment, and the smell of smoke on everything. 

"There are certain things you might be able to wash. But the furniture that is affected by smoke will never be the same. Those things are gone."

Remains of an apartment on the 23rd floor of the Tamweel Tower in JLT. (Supplied)

JB occupies her hours trying to erase the intriguing smell of smoke off some towels she has been able to save from the apartment.

It takes a couple of rounds in the washing machine, but the effort bears fruit; a fresh smelling towel makes JB a happy woman for the evening.

It is maybe not the time yet for residents to become fully aware of what they have lost, as normal life has not returned for most.

"We are physically and emotionally tormented," says MS, trying to describe his feelings five days after the fire broke out.

"Luckily, my children do not realise what is going on.

The apartment belonging to MS on the 27th floor of the Tamweel Tower in JLT. (Supplied)

“They have some problems sleeping because we have moved to different places. But they are going to school. Their uniforms got lost in the fire, but the school has provided them with new ones." 

"The support of the community is unprecedented," says MS. "I received several phone calls of people begging me to come and stay at their place.

“My employer helped me pay for the alternative accommodation. I am blessed with a great support network, but I do not know if others have the same support."

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