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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sheikh Mohammed assures best hotels for Torch residents!

A picture taken on August 4, 2017 shows a close-up view of fire damages to "The Torch", one of the tallest towers in Dubai, after a fire blaze ripped through it early in the morning.
  • They helped in housing 60 people during the day of the fire.
Khalil Al Mansouri, head of CID at Dubai Police said that the cause of the fire is still unknown. CID teams are on site to determine the cause of the fire. When experts are done with their work, residents are expected to be allowed to return to their apartments as soon as possible, by today if possible.

He also added that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, himself ensured that tenants be sheltered in the best of hotels. Repair work will also start as soon as possible, under the tower's insurance company

Official communique from Torch management also said that residents will be updated by authorities later in the day of their accommodation requirements. Below is the letter sent to Torch residents in full:

Dear Residents

By last night the authorities provided access to residents to gather valuable and urgent items from apartments up to the 70th floor. Today access continues for apartments up to the 80th floor (as informed by DCD last night). It is important to ensure that you register with the Dubai Police directly on arrival at the site to gain access to your property. All residents will be accompanied by the security to their respective units. To avoid delayed waiting times it is recommended that only residents who require urgent access (i.e. residents who will be traveling, residents who need to collect chronic medication etc) visit the tower earlier in the day, and that remaining residents visit the tower later in the day or during the evening. Where the number of residents waiting for access is high, DCD and Dubai Police will prioritize residents with the following situations:

- Where medication is required (critical/ serious medical conditions)
- Pregnant Women, Women, and Families
- Residents who require passports and other documents for travel in the next 24-48 hours

Residents in possession of their car keys may also remove their car. In this case, they are not required to visit the reception at The Torch but proceed to directly to the location of their car. Lift access is not available for car park levels. Dubai Police and security are in place at both car park entrances, and the police require the show of valid photo ID (Emirates ID or License preferred) for the removal of a vehicle.

While some residents were booked into hotels around Dubai Marina yesterday, shuttles were also arranged to provide transportation to residents to the GHAYA Grand Hotel near Sportcity. During the course of today, and more specifically from this afternoon, further updates are expected from the authorities regarding access to The Torch. Based on this information residents will be informed and/or advised of further accommodation requirements.

We are also able to share a few updates regarding services being restored at the tower, such as:
- Domestic water supply has been restored in the tower.
- The Fire Fighting line has been charged.
- There are currently two (2) lifts in manual operation (1x low zone and 1x high zone), and another two (2) are expected to be operational today.
- The chiller has been turned on (lower circuits only).
- Door condition checks were done for apartments on all floors.
- Several operational reports have been prepared by the teams on site.

Kingfield's head office will also remain open today and can be reached locally at 800-KINGFIELD (800-546434-353), 04 454-1500 or internationally at +9714 454-1500. It is recommended to refer to this MyBuilding community portal for more regular updates.

We thank the residents of The Torch for their overall community spirit and patience during this very challenging weekend, and for the coming days as our team continues to coordinate operations from Dubai Marina and work alongside the authorities on site in their efforts to restore services and access to The Torch.

Kind Regards
The Management

Following the fire that ripped through the Torch tower in the Dubai Marina during the early hours Friday, nearby residents stepped up to accommodate affected tenants as quickly as possible.

UAE radio station Dance FM staff helped in housing 60 people during the day of the fire in two nearby hotels

Theo Makris Managing Director of the radio station, has been residing in the building next to Torch Tower for five years. Witnessing the fire that happened back in 2015 and Friday's fire, he said, "It was shocking to see fire happening again and I could see the first-hand devastation. I knew we had to help somehow."

The staff contacted their partners Media One and Radisson Blu and arranged temporary residency for 60 of the affected residents by 9pm on Friday.

"It was an emotional day, people we frightened and some were crying. They felt overall grateful that they had a place to stay after the taunting experience. It gave them some time to relax, gather their thoughts and figure out what to do next," said Makris.

He praised the work of the Dubai Civil Defense for putting out the fire quickly without injuries or casualties.

"The fire department did a great job in getting people out on time. And they stayed to support people and make sure everyone was doing fine," noted Markis.

His colleague Digby Taylor, head of the station, was a former tenant at Torch Tower who experienced the first fire two years ago.

"I witnessed it before, so I sympathized with residents who had to experience it again," said Taylor, who left the Torch Tower four months after the first fire happened.

Now a resident at Jumeirah Village Circle, he said he decided to do something to give back the community. "I contacted [Theo] and we agreed to find tenants somewhere to stay. Our Marketing Manager Natasha Talebli, lost no time in making the arrangements," he said.

Recalling the experience of the first fire, Taylor said, "It is frightening. When you're asked to evacuate, you take whatever you can take with you."

He added, "When you rush through the emergency exit, there are hundreds of people behind you, the stairs are steep and everyone is panicking."

Taylor likened it to the "Titanic" ship-drowning crisis that happened back in 1912.

"You're leaving and you have no idea what will happen next. And once you get outside, you wonder what to do. People are frightened and you cannot go back inside the building because it is unsafe," said Taylor.

The Torch Tower went up in flames back in February 2015. More than 1,000 people were evacuated from the 1,105-foot tall building. According to Kingfield Owner Association Management Services, the building management company for The Torch Tower, "most of the damage was limited to the exterior cladding."

Firefighters rushed to the scene at 12:49am on Friday and controlled the fire by 2:58am, after evacuating people as soon as possible.

Some expats in the Dubai Marina area have also offered their homes to affected Torch Tower residents. British-Egyptian expat Ahmed Ali posted Friday morning on his Facebook account, "If you know anyone affected by this fire and is in need of assistance or a place to stay then please let me know."

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