An expat who lost his furniture business in a Sharjah fire that spread to his factory said “more could have been done” to contain the inferno.
Ghulam Mustafa Mughal said Dh25-30 million in assets went up in smoke on Monday after a blaze in a next-door car scrapyard spread to his furniture factory.
The 51-year-old Pakistani said his staff battled for two and a half hours to keep the blaze away by using fire extinguishers and water hoses.
“Civil Defence in the UAE is among the best in the world and I applaud them for their great work. [But] I feel more could have been done; maybe this would not have ended so badly for me. At least everyone is safe,” Mughal said.
“There were about eight to 10 fire trucks on the scene, they arrived about 15-20 minutes after the fire. One of them seemed to have no water. We wanted the fire department to deploy a truck close to our factory, which was on the verge of catching fire. My staff, of about 150 people, had to abandon our own efforts after two and a half hours. It was getting too dangerous.”
The charred remains of the 15-year-old factory, named Al Sakhrah Al Jadeeda, were still smouldering on Tuesday afternoon. Virtually every structure had been engulfed and razed to the ground. A thick odour of burnt-out materials hung in the air.
Authorities are investigating the incident and probing the cause of fire. The billowing smoke could be seen from as far away as Dubai.
Monday’s blaze also tore through three yards in Industrial Area five before it was contained eight hours later, an official said.
Rashid Al Marri, Director General of Sharjah Civil Defence, said: “The fire started at 10.50am and was completely contained around 6.30pm.”
Along with five teams of fire-fighters from the Civil Defence in Sharjah, a total of three other teams from Dubai, Ajman and Um Al Quwain were also scrambled to the scene.
Colonel Naser Jumaa Al Hindi at Sharjah Civil Defence told Gulf News that there were no causalities in the incident, and that the cause of blaze is still under investigation.
Sharjah Police also confirmed that the cause of the fire has not yet been determined. “A logistics team were also at the scene, but it will take some time before the cause of the fire is confirmed,” said a spokesman from the Sharjah Police.