Property

Dubai Torch fire-safety systems ‘worked as planned’

Statement from developer comes after some residents claimed alarms did not immediately sound

PHOTO: The blaze at The Torch in Dubai, one of the world's tallest residential towers. Credit: Twitter

Fire-safety procedures functioned “as planned” during Saturday’s blaze at The Torch building in Dubai, the developer said, amid claims by some residents that alarm systems did not immediately sound.

Residents of the tower, one of the tallest residential blocks in the world, told MEConstructionNews.com that occupants were returning to their apartments, but that some units remain sealed off.

The Torch fire started at around 2am on the 50th floor and later spread higher up the building, and did not cause any fatalities. Four people are reported to have suffered minor injuries.

The fire appeared to have been caused by an accident rather than a criminal act, according to Dubai authorities, whom have opened an investigation into the blaze, state news agency WAM reported.

IN PICTURES: After the fire – Residents return to The Torch, Dubai

VIDEO: Massive fire engulfs Torch skyscraper in Dubai

READ MORE: Ten killed in fire at illegal workers’ residence in Abu Dhabi

READ MORE: Top five causes of fire in buildings

READ MORE: Safety experts discuss implementation of fire systems in region

Select Group, the developer of The Torch, said that safety procedures worked properly.

“Although the incredibly strong winds fanned the fire… the building’s fire safety systems and evacuation protocols worked as planned and the fire was swiftly brought under control,” it said. “Over a thousand people were safely evacuated from the building while a strong sandstorm raged outside.”

Select Group said that residents are now progressively being allowed back into the tower by the authorities.

Some residents had said they had been told by staff that the building’s fire alarms did not immediately sound.

Archibald Jurdi, a resident of the 76th floor, reportedly claimed that reception staff at The Torch were alerted to the fire by people in an adjacent building.

“[The Torch receptionists] got a call from Princess Tower telling them the building was on fire. The alarms were not operating automatically,” he told Reuters.

One British resident of the tower, who did not wish to be named, said that the fire alarms had gone off and were loud.

The resident said he is now back back in his apartment after the fire – but said other units are still closed.

“We’re back in, but the apartment next to us looks wrecked. It doesn’t smell of smoke, but some apartments have been sealed off,” he told MEConstructionNews.com.

“There are metal pieces and small bits of debris all over my balcony, and the pool is filthy,” he added.

IN PICTURES: After the fire – Residents return to The Torch, Dubai

VIDEO: Massive fire engulfs Torch skyscraper in Dubai

READ MORE: Ten killed in fire at illegal workers’ residence in Abu Dhabi

READ MORE: Top five causes of fire in buildings

READ MORE: Safety experts discuss implementation of fire systems in region

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