A fire in a 79-story luxury apartment building in Dubai engulfed several floors and was extinguished three hours after it began with no deaths or injuries. The fire, at the Torch building, which contains 676 residential units and six retail spaces, is reported to have started on the 50th floor.
CNN.com reports that strong winds blew burning debris to lower floors on other sides of the building. The report says four other nearby buildings were evacuated as s precaution; the Dubai Civil Defense says the cause of the fire is under investigation.
High-rise buildings present several unique challenges not found in traditional low-rise buildings; longer egress times and distance, evacuation strategies, fire department accessibility, smoke movement and fire control. The multiple floors of a high-rise building create the cumulative effect of requiring great numbers of persons to travel great vertical distances on stairs in order to evacuate the building.
NFPA offers a free "Emergencies in High-Rise Office Buildings" guide which offers guidelines to developing actions plans for all-hazard emergencies.
RELATED: From the July/August 2013 issue of NFPA Journal: "Diminishing Returns - Why the doing-more-with-less model doesn't work for fighting high-rise fires."
<a href="http://www.nfpa.org/newsandpublications/nfpa-journal/2013/july-august-2013/the-experts/structural-ops" target="_blank">There is scientific evidence to support requests for adequate staffing levels and response times for fire departments that protection high-rise buildings. (NFPA Journal, July/August 2013). </li> </ul>