A fire quickly swept through the Torch skyscraper in Dubai early Saturday, hitting one of the tallest residential buildings in the world. Despite the fact that strong winds in Dubai’s high-end Marina district that is popular with expats helped the blaze spread through the 1,105-feet-high building, no one died or was seriously injured. A total of 10 people suffered injuries, largely mild smoke inhalation or small injuries from falling debris, according to Gulf News. The cause of the fire was still under investigation but so far there are no hints that it was the result of criminal activity.
Two people claim they were told the fire started on the 52nd and then falling debris set a lower part of the building ablaze, according to the Associated Press. “There was debris flying everywhere, falling into neighboring buildings,” a witness told the BBC. Residents were full of praise for the firefighters, saying they arrived at the scene quickly and were able to get everything under control in a surprisingly short amount of time.
The residents, however, don’t seem too happy with the management of the building. One Egyptian resident told the National that there had been false fire alarms practically every week, which probably delayed the evacuation. “We heard the fire alarm at around 2.30am, but we didn’t think much of it. I thought it was a false alarm until I looked out from my balcony and saw a group of people standing under the building,” he said. “The security guard knocked on the doors and asked everyone to evacuate immediately.”
The Torch tower has 676 apartments and ranks as the fifth-highest residential building in the world. It is the ninth-highest building in Dubai.