2 children killed among 5 in Sharjah fire

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Staff Report

Sharjah: Five people including two children along with their mother died of suffocation on Monday after a fire broke out in an apartment building in Sharjah, it is confirmed by officials.
At least six people are now recovering at Al Kuwaiti Hospital from the symptoms of suffocation. The fire gutted an apartment on the first floor of the building in Al Buteenah area, Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqbi told reporters.
Nine Anjad officers and one from the Civil Defence, sustained minor to medium injuries and received treatment from the National Ambulance units present at the scene.
The victims included a Moroccan woman, 41, and her two children, aged 4 and 6, an Indian male, 32, and a Pakistani woman, 34.
Bodies of the three adults were taken to Al Kuwaiti Hospital while the two children were taken to Al Qasimi Hospital.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known and the forensic team took over the site for investigation. Initial reports suggested the fire might have started from the air-conditioning unit.
“The fire gutted an apartment on the first floor of the building and its smoke spread in the whole building,” Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, director-general of Sharjah Civil Defence said.
Colonel Al Naqbi said the fire broke out around 1.12am and tenants were evacuated from the 15-apartment building.
According to the Sharjah Media Bureau, quick response from Sharjah Civil Defence and Anjad patrols averted a bigger disaster and saved dozens of lives as they managed to contain the blaze within a record time that did not exceed two minutes after reaching the spot.
Police cordoned off the area and sealed the building as a rescue team evacuated the residents.
Dr Eisa Al Moa’almi, head of the emergency department at Kuwait Hospital, said the hospital received five victims, including three dead. He said the two of the injured included a Sudanese man, 43, and woman, 42.
The woman was admitted to the ICU in a critical condition, while the man was said to be stable.
Brigadier Mohammad Rashid Bayat, Director of Sharjah Police Operations, who visited the spot, said that it was too early to pinpoint the cause of the fire. He said the initial investigation revealed that the fire started in the air conditioner of a flat located on the first floor.