Building supervisors responsible for most fires
Six firefighters injured, 2,500 square meters damaged
Iron cuts sparked fires in Sabah Al-Salem University City, Kuwait Credit Bank and Sharq tower. Electrical short circuit caused garage fire in Sharq Industrial area. Investigations revealed that 409 arsons were committed in 2016. Some 655 out of 13,991 facilities inspected were referred to prosecution due to severe violations.
KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad- Al-Sabah lauded the Interior and Health Ministries, in addition to the Kuwait Fire Service Directorate (KFSD) for their efforts that contributed in extinguishing a fire that erupted in a paper factory in Ahmad industrial area and let six firemen injured on Friday. In s cable sent yesterday , His Highness the Amir voiced appreciation for the honest patriotic spirit that prevailed during the incident, wishing for a speedy recovery to those injured.
His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Premier Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent similar cables to the concerned bodies and officials, including Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Acting Minister of Information Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah and Health Minister Jamal Al-Harbi.
Firefighters from five fire service stations have managed to extinguish the massive blaze which hit a paper factory and warehouse in Al-Ahmadi before spreading to nearby buildings, KFSD announced. It added that six firefighters were wounded while fighting the fire and a probe was launched to unveil the causes of the blaze. Earlier, KFSD's Acting Deputy-Director General Brigadier Mohammad Al-Mahmeed said that the fire has damaged 2,500 square meters of the 4,000 square meterbuilding. In a separate case, firemen also tackled a blaze which burned a chalet in Nuwaseeb Friday afternoon. No injuries were reported in the incident.
Meanwhile, Kuwait's top fireman said that supervisors of sites under constructions are responsible for most of fire incidents erupted in those sites in Kuwait. But KFSD "does not cover on arson and is ready to take necessary measures against anyone trying to mess with security of the country, safety of people and properties," Lieutenant General Khaled Al-Mekrad, KFSD Director General, said. He underlined that KFSD "is acting in a transparent manner ... and is not ready to cover on any person."
Mekrad said in an interview that KFSD was taking "necessary measures" against anyone causing the fires "regardless of that person's identity. The fire directorate, he added, revealed the "real causes" of every fire in its report, which is "supported by evidence like photos and samples and testimonies of eyewitnesses." The reports, which he said were produced "without any pressure," were published in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior's Criminal Evidence Department. Mekrad said the number of deliberate fires in 2016 reached 409.
Mekrad attributed most of fire incidents in buildings under construction to the way the iron was cut inside the site, causing sparks to start fire when they land on woods. This same reason caused the fire incidents in Sabah Al-Salem University City, Kuwait Credit Bank under construction building and another tower site in Sharq, downtown, he said. Mekrad said workers should not cut the iron inside the project. But if they want to, he added, they should make sure the sparks would not reach the huge amount of woods used in the project.
The garages fire in the Sharq Industrial area was due to an electrical short circuit in one of the garages' air condition unit, Mekrad mentioned, adding that the area's poor organizational structure has delayed the arrival of firefighting squads on time thus allowed the fire to expand further and become difficult to deal with. "I have urged for removal of this poor area due to its sensitive location in the capital's center, posing a major risk on the safety of buildings and people," he said, stressing the importance of building an appropriate and special area for car garages.
Meanwhile, Mekrad affirmed that KFSD performs its tasks to the fullest, including search operations, which covered 13,991 facilities, current and under construction, and storages in 2016. Some 655 were referred to prosecution due to severe violations, prompting suspension of their files and transactions, he said, adding that around 21 facilities so far have been closed down in 2017, including storages, warehouses, companies, hotels, medical clinics, factories, and cellars.
Mekrad also praised a number of state sectors, including Kuwait Municipality, Environment Public Authority, Public Authority for Industry, Public Authority of Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources, Environment Police, and Removals Committee for their cooperation with KFSD in closing down some facilities that were not committed to precautionary requirements.
"Right now, we are working on removing severe and hazardous violations in Industrial Sulaibiya area that pose great danger on the safety of the society," he noted. He noted the great efforts exerted by the Directorate's media and press department in promoting awareness campaigns.
Non-commitment to safety standards and requirements is actually a problem, Mekrad said, noting that the Directorate has voiced strong messages that stressed the importance of having fire extinguishers inside houses. He also expressed his discontent with the current punishments in the Fire Law, adding that the Directorate is currently working to draft a new law that would increase financial and transactional punishments.
KUWAIT: A fire ladder is used to put out a blaze which erupted in a paper factory in Ahmadi industrial area on Friday. Firemen put out the blaze in Ahmadi. A firefighter battles the blaze in Ahmadi. A fireman battles a blaze in a chalet in Nuwaiseeb Friday afternoon.
Firemen battle a blaze in a garage in the Sharq Industrial area.
Fire engulfs a 1,000-square-meter site in Amghara.
Firefighters battle fires with courage, risking their lives to save others.
A fireman faces a wall of smoke and flames while extinguishing a blaze in a garage in the Sharq Industrial area.