Char­ity steps in to help blaze vic­tims

Emi­rates Red Cres­cent says Aj­man fire fam­i­lies will be looked af­ter

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Nawal Al Ramahi @nawal_ramahi

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

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