The massive fire that gutted Al Baker Tower 4 in the Taawun area of Sharjah earlier this year was caused by a cigarette butt, as was the case with the Kuwait Tower fire a year ago, officials have said.
The report from the Sharjah Police forensic laboratory on the causes of the fire has revealed another big risk smokers in residential buildings pose to neighbours.
According to the report, a smoker on the fourth floor disposed of a burning cigarette butt which landed on the balcony of apartment No 101 on the first floor.
The clothes and paper stacked on the balcony of 101 caught fire and it spread rapidly to the other apartments.
The report mentions that a cleaner who was at work in the neighbouring building informed the police about a fire in apartment 101 of Al Baker Tower. The exact apartment from which the smoker threw the butt was not given, but officials said the case was still under investigation and those suspected are being questioned.
According to the report, out of a total of 125 apartments, 51 were completely gutted. In addition to this, 14 cars caught fire of which four were completely gutted.
Families whose homes were completely gutted received Dh50,000 each in compensation, as per a decree by His Highness Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
The fire was regarded as the second biggest residential fire after the 14-storey Kuwait Tower building fire which displaced more than 200 families in July 2010.