A large fire broke out in the residential skyscraper, Torch Tower, in the Dubai Marina at approximately 01:00 (local time) on Friday, August 4. The fire is thought to have started on the ninth floor before spreading up one side of the building. As of 02:00, at least 15 floors in the center of the building were still alight. A spokesman from the Dubai Civil Defense Force stated that the fire was spreading due to high winds and dry air. The Dubai Media Office tweeted that the building had been evacuated and no injuries were reported.
Emergency services are continuing work to extinguish the blaze. Localized transportation disruptions are possible, and the area should be avoided.
Dubai's skyscrapers are relatively prone to fires, generally attributed to highly flammable cladding applied to buildings, which is often installed without firebreaks. The Torch Tower, which is one of the tallest residential buildings, previously caught fire in February 2015. Officials in Dubai have pledged to increase oversight of building construction and material usage in an effort to prevent future disasters.
Individuals present in Dubai are advised to monitor developments to the situation and to avoid the area until the situation stabilizes.
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