DUBAI // An Emirati firefighter who helped to tackle the blaze at The Address hotel in Downtown Dubai on New Year’s Eve is in a critical condition in hospital after suffering respiratory failure caused by a lung infection.
Hasan Ibrahim Al Balooshi was one of the early responders to the fire.
The 29-year-old, who worked as part of recovery efforts for four days after the fire, visited City Hospital in Dubai after coughing up blood.
He is currently in an induced coma in the intensive care unit, said his family. “He checked into the hospital on January 8. He was suffering from an incessant cough that he didn’t take seriously and other symptoms that we thought might have been a result of the fire.
“We were all alarmed when he started coughing blood so we rushed him to hospital,” said Mr Al Balooshi’s brother, who has taken leave from work to be by his side.
An X-ray showed the firefighter was suffering from a severe lung infection.
“The doctors said that his lungs were functioning at 90 per cent capacity,” his brother said. “He is completely reliant on the ventilators and oxygen therapy. The doctors are monitoring him. He’s been like that since Friday. We pray that he’ll be able to breathe normally again.”
Photographs of the firefighter have been circulating on social media, with people offering prayers for his recovery.
“The outpouring of love and support has really touched us all,” his brother said.
Dubai Civil Defence Commander in Chief, Maj Gen Jassim Al Marzouqi and Maj Gen Rashid Al Matroushi have both visited Mr Al Balooshi in hospital. They extended their well wishes to his family and their appreciation for his service.
Civil Defence have denied that the firefighter’s condition was related to the hotel blaze.
A medical report showed that Mr Al Balooshi was suffering from severe acute respiratory distress syndrome as a result of pneumonia and smoke inhalation.
His brother said: “The medical report shows that the respiratory failure was caused by a virus that he might have contracted before the fire that got aggravated.
“It didn’t matter to him if he was feeling ill. All he cared about was saving lives, and he did, and we are proud of him.”
Source: uae news