By Staff writer
Members of the public tell local newspaper they heard no alarms when the fire broke out on New Year’s Eve
Emaar has denied reports that the fire alarms failed to go off after the fire erupted at The Address Downtown hotel on New Year’s Eve.
A report in The National newspaper quoted hotel guests as claiming they heard no alarms on the night of December 31 as fire broke out.
US tourist Diana Torossian said she was sitting in the lounge at the time and saw the flames move up the outside of the building. “We saw the fire move very fast. There was no fire alarm that we heard,” she said.
And Tanzanian businessman Sameer Khan said staff “banged on his door and told him to leave”. “We ran out in our slippers. There was no time to take anything from the safe, even our passports,” he said. “People were crying, we heard them but we didn’t hear any alarm.”
However, Emaar said in a statement that the alarms did sound. A spokesperson said: “We would like to reiterate that the fire alarms did go off and any information to the contrary is false.
“Emaar adheres to all safety standards regarding to fire-systems as per the regulations. Our systems, across all properties, are regularly tested by third-party entities and cleared.
“We also undertake periodic drills, above the call of mandatory requirements, to ensure the safety of our guests and residents.
“The safety protocols followed and the exceptional and committed efforts of the Dubai Civil Defence enabled the safe evacuation of all guests and residents in the hotel.”
Fourteen people suffered minor injuries, one sustained a moderate injury and another had a heart attack because of the fire, police reported last week.
Also last week Emaar said it expected the disaster to have no material impact on its finances, although shares tumbled the day after the fire.