Charity steps in to help blaze victims
Emirates Red Crescent says Ajman fire families will be looked after
Families left homeless when two tower blocks were engulfed by a major fire on Monday will be housed, fed and receive compensation to help rebuild their lives.
Emirates Red Crescent delivered the news yesterday as some residents were allowed back inside the charred buildings to discover what remained.
Some of the estimated 350 residents that fled were fortunate, but others have lost everything.
Ahmed Naboulsi, a Palestinian landlord, said: “I am left empty-handed and do not know what to do, as everything fell apart in one night.”
He said he was hopeful that there will be support for owners and tenants.
Geraldine Murdoch, 19, a student who lived in one of the towers, was at the site yesterday. Recalling the blaze at 9pm on Monday, she said: “We spent the night on the street looking at our home burn.”
Hamdan Al Mazroui, chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent, said: “We are providing accommodation and the government will provide compensation for tenants with receipts for goods they lost.”
None of the residents 7DAYS spoke to had house contents insurance.
Insurance expert Frederik Bisbjerg, Executive Vice President of QIC, MENA, said, just a small percentage of UAE residents have insurance, adding a contents insurance policy “that covers Dhs50,000, costs Dhs200 annually”.
Despite assurances that they will be supported and rehoused, families who lost their homes in the Ajman One fire on Monday night have faced an uncertain few days - with some saying they have had to sleep in cars or on the nearby beach.
Mahmoud Reda was home with his wife and young children when the blaze broke out and forced them to flee Tower 8. “I asked my sister to keep my wife and two kids at her house,” he said.
“But there was not enough space for both families, so I slept in the car.”
Other residents told 7DAYS they had slept on the beach, unsure of where to turn and unaware that many families have been put up in local hotels.
Geraldine Murdoch, 19, a student living in the development, said: “My mother is talking to most of the tenants to find out what will happen next. Some say that the government will pay us compensation. Others say that the Ajman government will either help us buy new furniture or that we are to buy it and give them the receipts to have it refunded.”
Also among those visiting the site yesterday were landlords who lost their apartments in the development.
Ahmed Naboulsi, a Palestinian owner, said: “I am left empty-handed and do not know what to do as everything fell apart in one night.
“However, I support Ajman’s authorities decision and I will do whatever they ask me to do.”
Another Mosa Abdul Fatah, also Palestinian, said: “The government should give us compensation. It was not only the tenants’ loss. It is the owners’ loss, as well.”
DAMAGE: The balcony of one of the more fortunate tenants, who escaped the worst of the fire