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Mon 12 Oct 2015 02:05 PM

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Sharjah blaze building 'had faulty hoses, alarms'

Large fire destroyed 26 storeys of residential tower last week, leaving about 250 families homeless

Sharjah blaze building 'had faulty hoses, alarms'
(Image Courtesy: Sharjah Civil Defence)

A 32-storey residential tower partially destroyed by fire in Sharjah last week had faulty fire hoses and alarms, it has been claimed.

The large fire ripped through the building on Thursday, destroying 26 floors and leaving around 250 families homeless.

Around 40 residents were treated by ambulances at the scene and some were injured, but no casualties were reported.

This week it emerged that firefighters tackling the blaze had discovered the building’s fire alarms and hoses were faulty, according to a report in The National.

Emergency crews were forced to carry equipment up to the top floors and check each apartment to ensure residents were evacuated safely in case alarms had failed on their floor.

Meanwhile, firefighters had to clear stacks of boxes and other items from the fire exits, which delayed efforts to put out the fire and threatened to block safe exits.

Abdullah Al Suwaidi, director of Sharjah Civil Defence, was quoted as saying: “Due to the failure of the fire alarms, fire teams had to check each apartment to make sure that all residents were evacuated.

“Civil Defence teams found that the fire systems and alarms did not work, which made their job harder.”

According to the report, Al Suwaidi added that inspectors are examining old buildings across the emirate to check fire safety systems are up to standard.

“Maintenance companies and building owners who do not comply with the safety laws will have their licences revoked and [they will be] fined,” he said.

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