Heat blamed for fire at hotel site
Engineers tackled blaze before fire crews arrived
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