A massive fire blazed through each of a 35-storey Dubai apartment building next to the Burj Khalifa on Monday morning. The fire broke out around 2.20 am and quickly spread throughout the block, which is a section of the skyscraper complex known as 8 Boulevard Walk and was constructed by the state-backed developer Emaar.
Videos posted on social media showed the high-rise next to the highest skyscraper in the world engulfed in flames. The building's exterior was coated in black char marks even though the fire had been put out by daylight. Also, there is no official word yet on the deaths or number of injuries.
Up In Flames
All 35 floors of the building were up in flames, according to reports. A dramatic video showed the building's corner being completely engulfed by flames from top to bottom. The fire was put out by 3.45 am, and this morning, black scorch marks could be seen mounting the structure.
Authorities have not yet confirmed whether any injuries occurred in the fire.
According to The National newspaper, the structure is a part of a group of skyscrapers by Emaar, the emirate's state-backed developer, called 8 Boulevard Walk. However, Dubai Civil Defence later confirmed that there was a massive fire at 8 Boulevard Walk.
"The field commander confirmed at 4.52 am that the fire had been brought under control. At 6.08 am, the field commander's signal declared that the operations were completely over and that the site would be handed over to the authorities concerned to take the necessary action," the civil defense said.
According to Emaar, there were no casualties. The company claimed that the situation was under control with the assistance of the relevant government agencies.
"Emaar adheres to strict protocols and regulations. We take the health and safety of our residents very seriously and are working with the authorities concerned to investigate the incident. Emaar is also working with residents impacted by the incident to ensure they are being taken care of," the property developer said.
Dubai Buildings at Risk?
The blaze at 8 Boulevard Walk is the most recent in a string of tower fires that have occurred in Dubai's skyscraper-filled city in recent years, raising new concerns about the safety of the nation's construction materials.
One of Dubai's most upscale hotels, the Address Downtown, which is located close to the Burj Khalifa, was completely destroyed by fire on New Year's Eve in 2015.
According to the Daily Mail, Bindu Rai, who resides across the street from the structure and spoke to the National World, said: "My mother woke up when the fire started as her entire room was lit up. My building faces Boulevard 8 and from what appeared to us, the cladding on the left side of the building was on fire from top to bottom."
"Fire had spread inside two apartments that were somewhere mid-way. For the rest of the building, it was limited to the exterior."
In April, a large fire erupted at Dubai's luxury SwissÃ´tel Al Murooj hotel, opposite the Burj Khalifa.
A civil case that Orient Insurance initiated to try and recoup the money after being forced to pay more than a billion Dirhams in damages for the fire ended in defeat in September. Emaar was awarded 1.25 billion dirhams (more than $340 million) as compensation from Orient Insurance.
The Burj Khalifa and other nearby construction projects are managed by Emaar.