Fire engulfs Dubai tower in city’s Downtown district

DUBAI: Firefighters brought a fire under control at a tower being built in Dubai’s Downtown district, authorities said on Sunday, the latest in a spate of fires to hit tall buildings in the emirate. The blaze, which started in the early hours of Sunday morning and sent flames and black smoke into the air, engulfed Address Residences Fountain Views, a 60-storey tower being developed by Emaar Properties. Roads around the building, located in an area popular with shoppers and tourists, were closed as firefighters tackled the blaze.
The Dubai Media Office Twitter account said later that the fire was under control, with cooling operations under way and no injuries reported.
It is the second fire to hit an Emaar building after the developer’s Address Downtown hotel was gutted by a blaze on New Year’s Eve.
That building, which is due to reopen before the end of 2017, is located close to Fountain Views.
Emaar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Several tall buildings, including residential compounds and hotels, have been hit by fire in Dubai over the past two years or so.
The spate of blazes has prompted the authorities to tighten safety regulations on new buildings.
Major fires have hit several Dubai high-rises in recent years and spread quickly, mostly due to flammable material used in cladding, a covering or coating used on the side of the buildings.
Sunday’s blaze was close to where a huge fire ripped through the luxury Address Downtown Hotel on December 31, 2015, only a few hours before a fireworks display nearby. It sparked panic and was broadcast live worldwide, but only injured 16 people. In July last year, a fire gutted the 75-storey Sulafa tower in Dubai marina, with the flames spreading up quickly at least 15 floors of the building. In 2012, a huge blaze gutted the 34-storey Tamweel Tower in the nearby Jumeirah Lake Towers district. It was later revealed to have been caused by a cigarette butt thrown into a bin. — Agencies