One of the world’s tallest residential towers, Dubai’s Torch Tower, caught ablaze in the early hours of the morning, causing the evacuation of the building’s 676 units and leaving lasting damage to the building and its immediately vicinity
This is the second fire to affect the 79-story building in just two years, raising more questions about safety standards of materials used in highrise construction.
Authorities reported that all residents were successfully evacuated and the fire put under control by 3:40 am local time, largely thanks to the design of the building’s smoke-free egress paths.
"Thank God, there were no casualties because of the efforts of all teams on the ground," said Dubai Police chief Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri.
Designed by architecture firm Khatib & Alami, Torch Tower was completed in 2011, at the time becoming the world’s tallest residential tower. The fire is thought to have spread along the building’s flammable aluminum composite facade panels – the same system thought to be responsible for the escalation of the fire at London’s Grenfell Tower in June. In 2013, the UAE passed new regulations requiring buildings over 15 meters tall to be clad in fire-resistant materials. Buildings built before the new law, however, were not required to make updates.
This is the second fire to hit Dubai’s skyline this year, after a dramatic fire broke out at the under-construction Address Residences Fountain Views towers in April.
Read more about the fire, here.
News via New York Times, Dubai Media Office.