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Monday, November 19, 2012

Fire at 34th floor of Tamweel Tower - Jumeirah, Dubai

Offices, residential places, are considered lesser fire hazard than industrial houses – high rise buildings always present higher risk for an Insurer.

Jumeirah literally means "burning embers". It is a coastal residential area in Dubai, United Arab Emirates mainly comprising low rise private dwellings.  The area is popular with expatriates working in the emirate and is familiar to many tourists visiting Dubai.  Read that historically, Arabs living in the Jumeirah were fishermen, pearl divers and traders, later in tune with the modern times, it turned in to an area  for western expatriate residences.  Understand that the  beachfront area was previously called Chicago Beach, going by the Chicago Beach Hotel that existed there till 1997. 

The Jumeirah Lakes Towers is a large development in Dubai, which consists of 79 towers being constructed along the edges of four artificial lakes (Lake Almas West, Lake Almas East, Lake Elucio, and Lake Allure) as well as the JLT Embankment of 8 tower facing Jumeirah Islands. The towers range from having 35 floors to having 45, except for the centerpiece, which is 66 floors. The tallest tower and the centerpiece of the entire complex is Almas Tower.

This area is in International news because of the fire accident  on Sunday 18th Nov. 2012.  Police have started investigations into the cause of a fire at Tamweel Tower in Jumeirah Lake Towers on Sunday.  The fire  has left hundreds of people displaced and damaged several apartments. Falling debris damaged at least four vehicles and a playground near the building.  The fire is reported to have started at 1:30am, with residents reporting that the fire started at the roof of the 34-storey building, near the air conditioning plant.  Falling flaming debris then caused most of the balconies to also catch fire, and the wind helped the fire spread, pushing the flames inside the building.  The blaze, which started on the roof of the 34-floor Tamweel Tower at about 1.30 yesterday morning, is reported to have gutted half of the building.

One home owner, was quoted as stating that fire fighters had initially been unable to battle the blaze because it was so high. Another report states  fire teams from six stations arrived at the scene at 1.51am  and that they were able to control and limit the fire this morning.  Newspaper reports suggest that fire alarms did go off but by that time, the fire was well under way.  By 3am, evacuated residents were gathered in Al Mas Tower, and were assigned accommodation in nearby hotels including the Bonnington and the Mövenpick.  It is believed that Tamwell would cover residents' hotel costs until it reached agreement with its insurer on alternative accommodation. Newspaper reports suggest that residents of the buildings could be seen huddled outside on the streets.  Some families who had managed to take their cars away from the building to a safe distance, were seen huddled inside their cars along with children, neighbours and elderly people, watching the fire slowly engulf the entire building. Entry to certain sections of the community is restricted as of Sunday morning and police patrol cars were seen at every entrance of JLT, manning the traffic going towards the Tamweel tower.  

Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC), the master developer of JLT stated: DMCC would like to state that the emergency services have contained the fire in Tamweel Tower, Cluster U, Jumeirah Lakes Towers. The authorities confirmed that there have been no casualties as a result of last night’s incident.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
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