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Fire breaks out in Dubai tower block

dubai torch fire

A major fire has ravaged a Dubai tower block that was struck by a similar incident just two years ago.

Authorities in the emirate said the 86-storey Torch Tower had been evacuated and the blaze had been brought under control. 

The 352m high building in Dubai Marina, which was only completed in 2011, was struck by a serious fire in February 2015.  

The Dubai government today said firefighting squads from four stations had been deployed to tackle the latest fire. It added that no injuries had been reported. 

Dubai Civil Defense added via Instagram: “Dubai Civil Defense Operations Room received a report at 12:45am stating that there was an incident in the Torch Tower. Rescue teams immediately moved to the scene.” 

Dr Fathi Tarada, managing director of fire safety engineering firm Mosen, said there were lessons for the UK to learn from the Torch blaze in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. 

“It is incumbent on those public and technical investigations into the Grenfell Tower fire to find out what has happened elsewhere in the world,” he said.  

Tarada said it was important for people to keep an open mind when thinking about the causes of tower block fires. 

“Cladding is very important but I hope people are not ignoring everything else – it is important to see how things are as a mix. You need to look holistically at fire breaks, separation between window frames and cladding, sprinkler systems and additional risks.” 

He added that if sprinklers were installed in the Torch and worked as expected then the latest fire was unlikely to have spread as it did.  

“If sprinklers failed here it would be the biggest failure of its type ever – we’ve been relying on sprinklers for 100 years – more likely something else happened.”  

The cause of the latest Torch fire is unknown. 

It was revealed yesterday that more than 100 buildings had ‘failed’ a second round of large-scale UK government combustibility tests set up after the Grenfell Tower fire.  

A taskforce chaired by former London Fire Commissioner Sir Ken Knight was appointed earlier this summer to look at any immediate action required to make all UK buildings safe as quickly as possible in the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze, which is thought to have claimed at least 80 lives. ENDS  


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