A fire broke out at a building just opposite my work place a few hours ago. The fire started very small at 5:30 pm. My colleagues and I ran to the meeting room to see the flame starting to get bigger and bigger, right in front of our eyes!
Surprisingly, the people in the building were so chill about it at first. I didn’t see any movements with a hint of panic. We even saw some taking their laundry hanging to dry in the balcony and peeking at the small fire.
The fire started in a space between two buildings. The location of the buildings is in Salahuddin road, between Crowne Plaza Deira and Movenpick Deira hotels, right along the Dubai Metro Green Line elevated platform.
It was a little bit windier than usual early this evening so it made the fire situation worse. After taking the above picture from my office building, we were asked to evacuate because the smoke is coming in to our direction. I grabbed my belongings and ran out. Most of my colleagues (Muslims) were out for their prayers and I met them outside, they left everything in our building: car keys, wallets, mobile phone etc. Police has prevented anyone from entering our office building.
The flames quickly spread, first to the right building and then in a few minutes, both buildings were engulfed.
A few minutes after the fire started, Dubai Metro Green Line operations (both directions) was stopped. People were asked to move away as far as possible, I took the above photo at the entrance gate of Muraqqabat Police station.
More sirens and the number of fire trucks increased. What made this scarier is that there is a petrol station RIGHT NEXT to the burning building and the Emarat petrol station was rained on by burning objects. Police drove us further away.
Movenpick Hotel Deira tweeted that they have evacuated all their guests as precaution.
Police restricted access to Salahuddin road on both directions and drove people all the way across the street to Best Western Inn (formerly Traders Hotel Deira).
Since the train operations were halted, I could not go home and so were the rest of the people there. So many were taking photos and videos and since I was stranded, I got busy tweeting the whole situation. You can see my live tweets about the fire on Twitter at @sandierpastures.
The Metro operations still hadn’t resumed by 7:30 pm, two hours after the fire started. Everyone was driven out of Salahuddin road so it was time for me to go home. There was traffic all over but thankfully, I was able to get on a bus going to the direction of my home. The bus was so crowded but nevertheless I was happy to finally get home.
I am still reeling from the shock of what I saw. My mind and prayers are with the people who lived in the building. Please keep them in your prayers, that everyone got out safely and that they may find shelter and comfort tonight.
UPDATE: 11pm, 23 November 2015
Dubai Police is reporting no casualties or injuries. I suppose because most of the residents in the building were out working when the fire broke out except for a few having day offs. Glad to hear no one got hurt but still all of them are left homeless.