Firefighters extinguish blaze at high-rise in Dubai Marina

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - A fire raced up the side of a high-rise tower in the Dubai Marina on Sunday as a sandstorm swept across the United Arab Emirates.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze and no one was hurt.

The fire at the 15-story Zen Tower sent thick black smoke up into the dusty air. Police shut down roads around the tower as people fled into the street.

Firefighters arrived within six minutes of the first call and put out the blaze in 45 minutes, said Dubai Civil Defence director-general Maj. Gen. Rashid Thani al-Matrooshi.

It wasn't clear what started the fire. However, the tower appeared to have side paneling on it that the flames fed on.

Dubai, a skyscraper-studded city, has suffered a spate of fires in its high-rises.

Dubai passed new fire safety rules last year requiring buildings with quick-burning side paneling to replace it with more fire-resistant cladding. Authorities have previously acknowledged that at least 30,000 buildings across the UAE have cladding or paneling that safety experts have said accelerates the rapid spread of fires.

In April, the spire of the 68-story Almas Tower in Dubai's Jumeirah Lake Towers caught fire.

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Follow Malak Harb on Twitter at www.twitter.com/malakharb .


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