A massive fire tore through a 35-storey high-rise building in Dubai next to the Burj Khalifa on Monday morning.
Videos on social media showed the flames ripping up the building and engulfing the high-rise which neighbours the world’s tallest building.
Firefighters tackled the blaze which was extinguished by dawn, but the outer façade of the building could be seen covered with black char marks.
Bindu Rai, who lives in a building opposite the scene, told The National that the fire started at about 2:20 am.
She said the blaze woke up her mother immediately as it lit up the entire room.
Rai continued: “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 midway. For the rest of the building, it was limited to the exterior.”
She said it was brought under control by 3:45 am, and they saw a large number of firefighters and emergency crews at the scene.
“A friend, who lives near the mosque that is across the Boulevard building, told me that the entire area has been cordoned off and people have been taken to Rove [a local hotel] and other places”, she said.
Witnesses said the fire broke out on one of the lower floors and then rapidly spread to the cladding.
One resident, who only moved into her apartment five months ago, told The National how she “ran for her life” after hearing the fire alarms sound.
The building is part of a tower complex called 8 Boulevard Walk by Emaar and there has been no word on the number of casualties or people injured.
Dubai police and the civil defense did not immediately acknowledge the blaze.
And Emaar, the state-backed developer in the emirate who owns the building, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did the city-state’s Dubai Media Office.
Dubai Police cordoned off the area so recovery work could take place and debris cleared from the streets below.
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