Fire forces evacuation of Sharjah residential tower

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A fire at a residential tower in Sharjah on Thursday forced the evacuation of the 20-storey building as the blaze spread.

The fire began on the 13th floor of Al Bandary tower on Al Ittihad Road. Fire crews were sent to the scene to tackle the blaze, which started at about 11am and had been extinguished by afternoon, residents said.

Sharjah Civil Defence have not released a statement on the fire and if there were any injuries. Police closed the Dubai-bound side of the E11, which caused massive tailbacks in Sharjah.Iraqi Sheikh Mustafa heard fire alarms in the building shortly after 11am, and evacuated his flat with his wife and two children.

 

"It was the first time to hear the building fire alarm, and a neighbour of ours knocked on our door and told us to evacuate," said the 14th-floor resident.

Nasir Mohamed, a resident on the 16th floor, said he was on the balcony when he saw the blaze.

"I noticed the flames coming out and immediately informed my wife and parents. We took our important documents and headed towards the exit," said the 46-year-old Syrian.

As he made his way down, a tenant who was helping his mother down the fire exit asked for Mr Mohamed’s help.

"I started helping him with his mother. When we reached the 12th floor, I told him that we need to get the fire crews’ help to get his mother out of the building," said the mechanic.

"I met a fireman on the lower floors and he went up and helped the woman and her son."

National Ambulance crew were at the scene to help out the residents needing medical assistance.

William Okjala was at home sitting tight for his companion at the season of the fire. 

"He called me and let me know a fire has ejected in my building, and instructed me to get out," said the specialist, who lives on the fifth floor. "The fire was blasting when I watched out, and flotsam and jetsam fell on autos stopped before the working before police vehicles expelled them. 

A security watch at Safeer Mall, opposite the building, said the fire spread rapidly to the upper floors. 

"The fire seethed in the top floors on the correct side. Before common safeguard touched base to the scene, individuals were scrambling out of the working before police vehicles expelled them," he said.