Fire Engulfs Dubai's Torch Tower Skyscraper

A huge fire engulfed part of the Torch
Tower in Dubai in the early hours of this
morning, forcing hundreds of people to
flee the 1,100ft skyscraper.
Witnesses said the blaze appeared to have
started at around 2am in the middle of the
residential building, rapidly spreading
across some 15 floors.
In several videos posted on social media
websites, multiple floors of the high-rise
were seen ablaze.
Strong winds fanned the flames and
burning debris from the fire could be seen
falling from building.
One witness said flames shot out from
two sides of the building as glass and
metal rained down from near the summit
of the structure.
Footage shows the fire sweeping
through the upper floors. Pic: Jaime
Muller
Another witness said it looked "like the
Titanic going down", according to
Gulfnews.com.
One resident, Briton Steve Short, 53, from
Liverpool, praised the work of firefighters
who arrived quickly.
He said fire alarms alerted people to the
blaze and building management sent
workers knocking on doors to ensure
residents got out.
Residents of at least one neighbouring
tower were told to evacuate as a
precaution because of high winds, but
they were later allowed back inside.
It took firefighters several hours before
they extinguished the blaze, according to
a witness at the scene.
Hundreds of Torch Tower residents
were evacuated. Pic: Jaime Muller
The cause of the fire was not immediately
clear. Officials said there were no reports
of casualties.
Opened in 2011, the Torch Tower has 79
floors and is one of the world's tallest
residential buildings.
It is located in the Marina district of the
city which is home to dozens of towering
apartment blocks and hotels, many of
them built over the past decade.
The apartments are popular with Dubai's
large number of expatriate professionals.
Dubai, known for its skyline of hugely
varied skyscrapers, has seen fires at
towers in the past.
In 2012, a huge blaze gutted the 34-
Tamweel tower in the nearby Jumeirah
Lake Towers district. It was later revealed
to have been caused by a cigarette butt
thrown into a bin.