Resident slams 'careless' culprit after discarded cigarette caused JLT fire
Tenants of Tamweel Tower, many of whom were left with only the clothes they had been sleeping in when a fire erupted, reacted with shock last night to news that a cigarette started the blaze.
Forensic experts from Dubai Police last night said the recent devastating blaze at Tamweel Tower in Jumeirah Lakes Towers was started by a lit cigarette.
The fire, which ripped through the 34-storey building, ignited in a rubbish-filled corridor at the rear of the ground floor where contractors had been working on a new shop.
Police investigators, who have completed an examination of the debris, said they are still searching for the smoker who discarded the lit cigarette in the early hours of November 18.
One man, who lived on the 25th floor, told 7DAYS: “I am speechless. It is so disappointing that someone would be so careless.”
The resident said he and his family will never return to live in Tamweel Tower or JLT because of the flammable cladding that fell in fireballs from the building. He said: “All the buildings there are the same.
“I know people believed the fire started on the roof, but I always thought it started at the bottom. I was one of the first people down on the ground and when I got out it was still going upwards. The roof still wasn’t on fire at that point.”
The angry tenant said he was unsure whether people dropping cigarette butts from windows or balconies was a problem at Tamweel. But he added: “Maybe that’s because I lived on the 25th floor, it might have been a problem on the lower floors.
“I can’t imagine it was someone dropping a cigarette from a balcony as there are no balconies at that side of the building, it must have been someone down there. It was a windy night maybe the cigarette got blown there.”
A spokesman for Tamweel, which has been helping the owners association in the wake of the blaze, said: “Tamweel is yet to receive the official report from Dubai Civil Defence into the cause of the recent fire at Tamweel Tower, and so is unable to comment at this time.
“Our priority remains the wellbeing of owners and residents and we continue to strongly support the relief efforts of the building’s owners association during this difficult period.”