Rose relives horror of devastating fire in Dubai skyscraper

Rose Adams, who has a flat in the Torch building in Dubai which caught fire

Rose Adams, who has a flat in the Torch building in Dubai which caught fire - Credit: Archant

A former Suffolk woman who lives in the Dubai skyscraper which was devastated by fire at the weekend said she feared for the life of her flatmate.

This photo provided by Rhea Saran shows flames coming from a high rise tower in Dubai's marina distr

This photo provided by Rhea Saran shows flames coming from a high rise tower in Dubai's marina district Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. The fire broke out early Saturday in the Torch tower on the northeastern end of the densely populated district, which is packed with multi-story skyscrapers. Debris from the fire cluttered nearby streets after the blaze appeared to be extinguished. (AP Photo/Rhea Saran) - Credit: AP

Rose Adams, who used to work for the EADT, faced an anxious wait as she watched the fire take hold of The Torch, one of the tallest residential buildings in the world, on Saturday.

She said she had resigned herself to the fact she may have lost everything in the blaze.

The former Thomas Mills High School pupil shares an apartment with fellow Brit Clare Napper on the 19th floor of the 1,105ft building, but thankfully was out when the fire started at about 3am.

The fire spread through the tower after starting on the 50th floor, forcing a mass evacuation.


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Miss Adams, who is 27 and works in advertising, has lived in Dubai for seven years but still has family in Framlingham, where she grew up. On hearing about the fire from a friend her first fear was for flatmate Miss Napper, 35, who she thought was at home.

“My first reaction was just panic about my flatmate because I wasn’t with her,” Miss Adams said.

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She said they both slept with ear plugs because of the city noise and was worried her friend might not have heard what was happening.

She added: “I was pretty sure she was at home fast asleep with her ear plugs in.

“I got a friend to give me a lift as close as I could (get). I was panicking and worried about our cat, Teddy, and couldn’t get hold of Clare.

“Then I got a phone call about half an hour later. Her battery had died and she was trying to get hold of me.”

Both women stayed the night at a friend’s because they were unable to get back into the building.

The blaze was extinguished in about three hours and fortunately never reached Miss Adams’ floor.

“Someone told us it had reached the 19th floor but they miscounted,” she said. Their cat also survived – but other families weren’t so lucky.

“Lots of our friends in the building are homeless. They lost everything.

“Last night I had resigned myself to what had happened and was ready to start again. Now everything is just the same and I feel really fortunate.

“It’s made me think about some changes I want to make and we have no home insurance. No one has anything like that here so it would have been a massive financial loss.”

Miss Adams has since spoken to her family who she said were “extremely worried” after hearing the news of the fire.

But she does not know if she will stay living in The Torch.

“It’s not got a particularly nice vibe and they are saying the building might not be safe any more,” she said.

“They might just turf us out but otherwise we’ll see how it goes. It’s not particularly nice anymore.”

Strong winds led to the blaze spreading across the 336.1m (1,105ft) high building in the marina district.

It is not known what caused the blaze. There were no reports of any casualties.

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