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10 December 2023

Did a child playing with cigarette lighter cause Sharjah fire?

By Joseph George

Did a child playing with a cigarette lighter cause the Sharjah apartment fire? The manager of the 25-storey Al Aneeqa Tower thinks so.

The building was evacuated after fire gutted an apartment on the 23rd floor of the building in Sharjah’s Al Nahda area on Sunday.

The building’s manager believes a child who could have been playing with a cigarette lighter may have caused the fire, and that it had nothing to do with poor maintenance of the building, as has been alleged by some residents.

Residents have been complaining of poor maintenance and the ‘faulty’ fire alarm in the building that failed to go off at the time of the incident.

According to some residents, it is the third fire in the same building in as many years, and a faulty fire alarm is too serious a failing to be ignored.

“Thankfully, it was a small fire and was controlled in time. Just imagine if the fire was big and had spread to other apartments and the fire alarm had not worked. Lives are at risk. There are no regulations that are being followed,” said Shweta (name changed), one of the residents.

The manager of the building also acknowledged that the fire alarm did not go off, and says they have raised the issue with the company that maintains the system.

“I know it is a serious issue. We did not know that the fire alarm was faulty and was not working. We had appointed a company to do regular maintenance. Now we are taking them to task,” he said.

Explaining about what caused the fire he said. “We still do not know the exact cause. However I am now being told that a child playing with a lighter could have caused the fire,” he said.

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