World’s tallest residential building left charred after fire

The Dubai Torch – one of the world’s tallest residential buildings – is left charred after a fire swept through it, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (FEBRUARY 21, 2015) (REUTERS) – The 79-storey residential building The Torch in Dubai was left badly charred on Saturday (February 21) after it caught fire earlier.

Hundreds of people were forced to evacuate the building in the early hours of the morning.

Dubai’s police chief, General Khamis Mattar, said the fire appeared to be the result of an accident and he did not suspect any criminal act. He added that an investigation into its cause was under way.

A witness said flames rose from two sides of the building as glass and metal rained down from near the summit of the building, which stands more than 330 metres (1,082 feet) tall.

Mattar said four people suffered minor injuries in the incident.

At least a dozen fire trucks were dispatched to extinguish the blaze several hours after the fire alarm went off at around 2 a.m. (2200 GMT).

Residents said the fire was fanned by high winds, which dislodged chunks of metal and glass onto the streets below.

Traffic was diverted and residents of two nearby buildings in the Marina district, home to thousands of expatriate professionals, were also evacuated.

Residents of The Torch were told they would not be allowed back into the building until fire officials gave approval later on Saturday.

Residents of the upper floors that were most affected by the fire were told it could be days before they could return to their homes.