Stray cigarette caused Tamweel fire - Dubai police

Fire that gutted residential tower last month likely caused by discarded butt
By Claire Valdini
Wed 05 Dec 2012 12:23 PM

A fire that gutted Tamweel
Tower in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers two weeks ago was started by a cigarette
butt, most likely thrown over a balcony, an official report by Dubai Police
said.

The discarded butt is
thought to have ignited a pile of rubbish outside the building, which later
engulfed the building in flames, according to a forensic laboratory report by
Dubai Police.

Dubai Police said they are
currently investigating whether or not the case is incidental or criminal.

Hundreds of residents were
forced to evacuate the 34-storey high building after a huge fire broke out in
the early hours of November 18. The fire started in a pile of waste material
that had been left by contractors working on a shop inside the building, said
the report.

The fire quickly spread up
through the building’s highly-flammable aluminium and fiberglass cladding
before reaching the roof, said the report. Once it had reached the roof, lit
debris from the upper floors started to fall to the street below.

A spokesperson for Tamweel,
the building’s developer, said the firm had yet to receive an official
report.  “Tamweel is yet to receive the official report from Dubai Civil
Defence into the cause of the recent fire at Tamweel Tower, and so is unable to
comment at this time,” they said.

“Our priority remains the
well-being of owners and residents, and we continue to strongly support the
relief efforts of the Building’s Owners Association during this difficult
period,” they added.

While there were no
casualties, the incident raised concerns over building materials used
to clad the exterior of many buildings in the UAE. Estimates have suggested
that as much of 70 percent of buildings in the UAE are clad using a
highly-flammable thermo-plastic between two sheets of aluminium.

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