Sharjah’s Civil Defence Fire officials say a major tower fire on 1st October was difficult to control as the building lacked critical inbuilt safety measures and firefighting equipment. Firefighters were forced to rely solely on their own equipment and gear to extinguish the fire in the 32-storey Al Nasser Tower on King Faisal Road that forced the evacuation of 250 families. The fire is the most recent in a string of tower fires in recent years.
In a recent media briefing, Brigadier Abdullah Al Suwaidi, Director General of Sharjah Civil Defence, told reporters that investigation showed that failure to maintain alarm systems and other fire equipment was one of the main reasons that helped contribute to the fire spreading in Al Nasser Tower. The Director General said: “Firefighters had to use their own equipment to control the fire as there was no inbuilt hose reels or sprinklers”.
The Civil Defence team are now questioning the company that provides maintenance services to Al Nasser Tower and is waiting for the report from the forensic laboratory. Fire officials will then decide the penalty, which is likely be a hefty fine.
Brigadier Al Suwaidi explained that since this latest fire, Civil Defence is intensifying inspections in all towers, residential and commercial, in the Emirate to ensure they all install alarm systems and also ensure that maintenance companies are regularly maintaining the buildings. He said that fire officials will not tolerate those who put people’s lives in danger,
and explained that in co-operation with other departments, Civil Defence officials has made it obligatory for all developers and owners of new buildings to use high-quality, fire-resistant cladding for exteriors.