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15 floors gutted in Dubai Marina fire

15 floors gutted in Dubai Marina fire

A Dubai Police official confirmed to Khaleej Times that a total of 15 floors on the western side of the Zen Tower were gutted during Sunday's fire. 

On Monday afternoon, Dubai Civil Defence handed over the tower to Dubai Police to allow the forensic experts to investigate the cause of the fire.

The official confirmed that tenants will gradually be allowed to enter the building safely to collect belongings, as per police instruction.

They have the details of all tenants and the information will be passed along to them.

Donations pouring in

In yet another heart-warming gesture, Dubai residents have donated thousands of items to help those who have been left temporarily homeless following the Zen Tower fire in Dubai Marina.

Early evening on Sunday, just hours after a fire ripped through the residential tower, the Wyndham Dubai Marina Hotel put a call out on its social media pages urging residents to stop by and donate anything they can to help those in need.

In less than 12 hours, people came in their droves and donated everything from new and used clothes, packaged food, toys and hygiene products (among others).

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Agusti Curto Calbet, hotel manager said around "70 people dropped off donations" in the first 12 hours.

"When we heard of the fire we instantly thought about how we could help. We saw lots of people commenting online as to where they can drop donations to help those in need and after reaching out to the Zen Tower management, we sent out a message informing people they could drop off donated goods in our hotel."

Due to the fact that residents from the tower are taking refuge in different parts of the city until being allowed to re-enter their apartments, Calbet said the hotel will remain open to all Zen Tower occupants so they can come down and take any of the donated items needed to help them in the interim.

"Over the next 48 hours we want to remain very active to help these people. We currently have five families from the Tower residing here. Once things settle a bit, residents are free to use our hotel as a storage place for items recovered from the building if needed.

Investigations are still on

Investigations are still ongoing into what caused the fire at the Zen Tower in Dubai Marina on Sunday morning. But on Monday, several residents returned to the scene of the incident to try and assess how badly damaged their property was.

Speaking to Khaleej Times at the site on Monday, Indian expat Enakshi Manchanda said from the outside, her apartment on the second floor looked completely destroyed.

"We bought the apartment in October 2016. The property is insured but our personal items are not. Yesterday, when the alarm went off all I could think about was saving myself, I didn't grab any belongings."

Celebrating her birthday next week, Manchanda said she was hoping to get away with her husband for a few days, but now fears the fire has destroyed her passport and other travel documents.

"To be honest, I doubt that will happen now, but that is the furthest thing from my mind. We just want to focus on getting some of our belongings out."

The majority of residents from the building took refuge at the Ghaya Grand Hotel on Sunday evening. They will remain there until they have been given the go ahead to re-enter the apartment block.

One resident who spoke to Khaleej Times from the hotel, R.K., said some residents visited the site late on Sunday evening.

"We have no official update yet. A few people went to the site yesterday late evening and in the morning today but no information was given out on the state of the apartments, except that each apartment was watered down because of the smoke damage."

A representative from Pristine Owners Association (the building management for Zen Tower) confirmed to Khaleej Times at lunchtime on Monday that forensic teams were inside the building since yesterday, conducting investigations into the cause of the blaze.

When asked how many apartments and floors had been affected by the fire he said he could "not comment until official findings are released".

However, upon re-visiting the scene at about 4pm, a resident said they were informed that "gradual access" to floors three and above were going to commence in "the next few hours" so residents could collect items from apartments. 

Throughout the day, several Dubai Police patrol officers were on site answering questions from Zen Tower occupants.

One resident raised a query about how he could access his medication, which was in his apartment, and the officer affirmed that they were doing all they can to "assist in getting urgent items to owners".

"We have given apartment numbers and item details to those inside and we will try our best to locate necessary items to residents," he told Khaleej Times.


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