Here we go again. Once more a Middle East skyscraper has erupted into flames. The BBC reports that, for the second time in a little more than two years, the Torch Towers in Dubai caught fire. According to Dubai Civil Defence, there were no casualties and 475 people were safely evacuated from the 86-story hi-rise.
Since early 2015, NFPA has reported on several fires in Middle East hi-rise buildings and provided input to media outlets looking for code information and best practices.
- In February 2015, a colleague wrote about a fire at the luxurious Torch Tower
- Later that year, a The fire spread from one floor to the next, feeding off the flammable exterior cladding
- In January of this year, weity’s oldest high-rise
- Shortly after the tragic Tehran incident, Dubai announced more restrictive regulations on exterior cladding
- This spring, the world once again watched as the 60-story Fountain Views skyscraper Dubai caught fire on the parking level. The hi-rise was being built just a stone's throw from the world's tallest skyscraper
- And today, the skies over Dubai are once again aglow and embers are flying as the Torch Tower catches fire. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire on the building's 26th floor.
Each of these fires remind us of the importance of codes, standards, safety guidelines and enforcement. NFPA is working with authorities in the Middle East to ensure optimal safety in the Persian Gulf, and earlier this year formed a Middle East Advisory Committee to reduce loss of life and property.