Dubai Marina's Torch tower fire began on 50th floor... then on the 38th floor... What happened?
Update: Dubai Civil Defence has confirmed there were no casualties in The Torch tower blaze that broke out in the early hours of Saturday in the densely packed Dubai Marina.
However, seven people were treated for smoke inhalation, stated a spokesperson for DCD.
According to the authorities, the fire broke out in the 87-storey tower at 1.49am, with Civil Defence teams arriving on the scene in nine minutes.
The origin of the fire has been placed as the 50th floor of the building, which gradually spread upwards; however, due to the high winds and the storm brewing, the falling debris started a second blaze on the front facade of the tower, originating on the 38th floor.
As the firefighters battled the two blazes, building security evacuated the 676 apartments.
The Civil Defence stated the blaze was brought under control by 4.24am and doused by 4.31am.
In a statement Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, Director General of Dubai Civil Defence said: “The Civil Defence teams were able to curtail the fire and prevent the blaze from spreading to other neighbouring towers despite the high winds blowing the flame to other areas.”
Al Matrooshi stated DCD used the tactic of rapid intrusion from inside the building and contained the blaze down to a single floor by using a water fire line inside the tower.
Fire crews from stations: Port Said, Al Rashidiya, Hamriya, Al Quoz, Dubai Marina and Al Barsha were called to the scene, with nearly 100 officers involved in battling the blaze.
No criminal suspect
Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Commander-In-Chief of Dubai Police, said that there is no criminal suspect behind the fire, which he described as not causing serious damag,e as the civil defence intervened to extinguish the fire.
He explained that the accident resulted in minor damages in a number of balcony apartments triggered by blowing flames, adding that some passers-by sustained minor injuries and were treated at the scene of the incident.
Al Mazeina noted that the scene of incident was examined by the forensic experts of the General Department of Criminal Evidence and Criminology at Dubai Police, to compile a technical report to determine cause of the fire.
One of the world's top 5 tallest residential towers caught fire early Saturday in Dubai's Marina district, sending flames several stories high, but no casualties have been reported, civil defense officials said.
The fire broke out at about 2am in the 86-storey Torch tower on the northeastern end of the densely populated Marina, which is packed with multi-storey skyscrapers.
Debris from the fire cluttered nearby streets after the blaze appeared to be extinguished. High winds whipped through the area.
Civil Defence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there were no reports of deaths or injuries. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.
Police blocked off areas around the Torch, which still had power. Lights were on in many of the apartments inside and multiple fire trucks and police vehicles were on the scene within no time.
Roads were closed in and around the area as large pieces of debris were seen falling from the building.
Residents of one neighbouring tower were told to evacuate as a precaution because of strong winds, but they were later allowed back inside.
Dubai Tram back on
The Roads and Transport Authority have confirmed the Dubai Tram service has been resumed after four hours of disruption in the morning hours due to the The Torch tower blaze that erupted in a residential building just yards from the tracks in Dubai Marina.
The RTA finally confirmed that services were restored, stating: “The Dubai Tram service returned to normal across the full line at 10.10 am this morning. The service was partially disrupted for four hours as a result of the debris from the Marina Tower fire falling on the tram tracks.”
The RTA further stated it provided free shuttle buses for tram passengers to travel between the affected stations: Marina Towers and Mena Seyahi.
Earlier, only three stations that were seen operating in the morning, between Al Sufouh and The Palm Jumeirah.
Later, service was returned to five other Dubai Tram stations between JBR1 station and Dubai Marina station.
Two residents of the Torch said they were told the fire started around the 52nd floor. Flaming material falling from the initial fire then set a lower part of the building ablaze, they said.
One of the residents, Steve Short, 53, of Liverpool, England, praised the work of firefighters who arrived quickly. He said fire alarms alerted residents to the blaze and building management sent workers knocking on doors to ensure residents got out.
Resident R.J. Morlock, 33, of Houston, shot video on his phone that showed bright yellow flames reaching what appeared to be several stories on two separate parts of the building. He said residents were nervous coming out but fire crews were able to bring the situation under control.
"I was really surprised they got it under control pretty quickly," he said. "It looked like it was going to go up."
The Marina area is home to dozens of towering apartment blocks and hotels, many of them built over the past decade. The apartments are popular with Dubai's large number of expatriate professionals.
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