Published: Sat, August 05, 2017
World News | By Cecilia Wilkerson

Huge blaze engulfs one of the tallest residential buildings in Dubai

Huge blaze engulfs one of the tallest residential buildings in Dubai

A large fire swept through the residential Torch Tower in Dubai overnight, with firefighters working to save the 79-storey building. Video of the blaze showed one exposure of the tower nearly entirely engulfed in flames with flaming debris falling from the tower.

Located in the glamorous Dubai Marina area, the Torch is one of the ritziest apartment buildings in the region. On Friday afternoon, Dubai Police reopened roads leading to the tower.

The skyscraper opened in 2011 and is thought to be the 32nd tallest building in the world, as per the Skyscraper Center. At least 80 people died in the fire at the west London high-rise after residents became trapped in the burning building.

"We were sleeping and we woke up to the fire alarm and people screaming", one resident told Reuters. The building was last damaged in February 2015.

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The fire was brought under control around 3:30 a.m., the authorities said.

It's the second massive fire at the tower in just over two years.

The Independent writes that the United Arab Emirates updated its building safety code in 2013, and now requires that all new buildings taller than 50ft must use entirely fire-resistant cladding.

"You never think it's going to happen to you", said Alireza Aletomeh, a resident of the tower.

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The building known as the Torch Tower was evacuated safely and there were no immediate reports of injuries, the government of Dubai's media office said on Twitter.

Dubai's glittering skyline has seen a number of similar fires in recent years.

Fires have affected several skyscrapers in the UAE, including a towering inferno that engulfed a 63-story luxury hotel in Dubai on New Year's Eve in 2016.

The 1,105-foot tall Marina torch tower cooled down around at 4 am.

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