Heat blamed for fire at ho­tel site

En­gi­neers tack­led blaze be­fore fire crews ar­rived

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - By Shoshana Ke­dem @B_Shosh shoshana@7days.ae

Soar­ing tem­per­a­tures are be­lieved to have caused a huge fire that en­gulfed a build­ing un­der con­struc­tion on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai.

Thick clouds of grey smoke bil­lowed from the par­tially-con­structed Met­ro­pol­i­tan Ho­tel yes­ter­day af­ter the roof caught fire.

A group of en­gi­neers rushed to the top of the build­ing to quell the flames with a fire ex­tin­guisher be­fore flee­ing the blaze as Dubai Civil De­fence ar­rived.

“We ran to the roof with a fire ex­tin­guisher to try and put out the flames un­til the fire ser­vices came,” said one site en­gi­neer who wished to re­main anony­mous.

“We weren’t afraid, but when the fire ser­vices came we evac­u­ated the build­ing down the stair­case.”

An­other en­gi­neer on the scene de­scribed rip­ping foam from the air con­di­tion­ing ducts to pre­vent the fire spread­ing.

“Af­ter fire broke out at 11.33am we went to re­move the highly flammable in­su­lated foam from the roof,” he said.

“If we hadn’t taken it off the fire could have burned for many hours.”

The 500-600 labour­ers work­ing on site were fil­ing onto buses for their af­ter­noon break when the fire broke out.

As 7DAYS ar­rived on the scene thick clouds of grey smoke bil­lowed from the top of the un­der- con­struc­tion build­ing, as work­ers from the sur­round­ing sites stood gap­ing in the scorch­ing sun.

Dubai Civil De­fence ar­rived on the scene with two fire en­gines and a crane to bat­tle the flames, which were ex­tin­guished af­ter 30 min­utes.

The site man­ager said that the cause of the fire was un­known but could have been ig­nited by di­rect sun­light.

“Dubai Po­lice and Dubai Civil De­fence are here in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cause,” he said

An on-site elec­tri­cian who wit­nessed the fire first hand said di­rect sun­light on the ther­mo­cool pan­els used to cool the metal roof caught fire in soar­ing tem­per­a­tures, that reached highs of 40C at noon yes­ter­day.

FEEL­ING THE HEAT: Civil De­fence mem­bers bat­tle the fire on Sheikh Zayed Road

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