Dubai's 'Torch' Tower Caught on Fire, Again

Firefighters battle a blaze at the 79-story Torch tower near Dubai Marina the Dubai Media Office said early Friday

Firefighters battle a blaze at the 79-story Torch tower near Dubai Marina the Dubai Media Office said early Friday

Onlookers' videos show burning debris falling from the building.

According to media reports, the building was "successfully evacuated" and the fire has been brought under control.

Firefighters battle a blaze at the 79-story Torch tower near Dubai Marina the Dubai Media Office said early Friday
Firefighters battle a blaze at the 79-story Torch tower near Dubai Marina the Dubai Media Office said early Friday

A residential tower which is home to hundreds of expats in Dubai's famous Marina is on fire. Some 30,000 buildings in Dubai alone are thought to have some form of cladding that can spread fire. The AP writes that residents of the building could be seen crying with several saying the fire broke just after 1 a.m. "People were streaming out of the vehicle parks of the building".

The devastating Grenfell Tower fire in London in June left at least 80 people dead and prompted testing of cladding on residential towers across the UK. The Metropolitan Police determined that the fire had been started by a faulty fridge-freezer, and spread quickly due to the building's exterior cladding. The first fire happened on February 21, 2015, with no casualties reported at the time.

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The government said it was working on providing shelter for those affected by the Tower Torch fire. The firefighters battled the blaze for more than two hours.

The tower became the tallest residential building in the world in 2011 but was surpassed in 2012 by the nearby 23 Marina and Princess Tower directly across the street.

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This is the second time the waterfront building has been ravaged by fire in the last two years, with a similar blaze in early 2015. In that blaze, as in others in Dubai in recent years, residents escaped without major injury.

Dubai is a trade, tourism and investment hub for the Gulf region, and is one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The title has since been usurped by buildings in Dubai and NY.

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