DUBAI // Although there were no human casualties in Wednesday’s fire at Sulafa Tower, several pets belonging to residents were killed in the blaze.
The fire broke out on the 61st floor of the 75-storey tower in Dubai Marina, spreading quickly around the building and damaging flats on at least eight floors.
One distraught resident told how he lost both pet cats in the fire.
“Blue and Fanta Pants meant the world to me, and I would give everything to get them back,” he said. “I’m truly devastated, this is one of the saddest days ever.
“Our little princess Blue left us and left her mark in the apartment like a real princess would. Rest in peace babies, I’ll always love you.”
Sandra Merhi was lucky to find her cats alive after rushing home on Wednesday once she heard the tower was on fire.
“We know that people’s lives are very important, but standing down there [on the street] knowing that your cats are alive but might be suffocating was horrible,” she said. “Both my cats were distraught and wheezing, and they still smell like smoke.”
Ms Merhi said firefighters were able to rescue other pets from the tower.
“They brought some down, those that were in immediate danger. I am lucky that I was able to get mine that night,” said the Lebanese national, who lives on the 67th floor.
Ms Merhi is staying at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi hotel, which allowed her to keep her cats in her room.
“I am keeping them in the bathroom, just in case a future guest has allergies, but I am happy that they made an exception for us,” she said.
Carla Julian was at home with her cat on the 23rd floor when the fire broke out.
“The cat was more panicky than I was, but she made herself available to get into the carrier when normally she wouldn’t have,” she said. “Cats and dogs are very sensitive. They have feelings, they think, and they see things.”
Ms Julian said that it was important to always be prepared for situations like this and always have the carrier ready to transport pets.
“If you’re home, you should never leave your pets behind,” she said. “I saw a lady holding her two cats. They were gone, and she was screaming. It was devastating.”
Ms Julian said residents were rallying round to help those who lost pets in the fire.
“I also think it’s important that security has a log that registers which apartment has elderly people, children and pets.”
Ms Merhi said that pet owners should put up signs or stickers on their doors to indicate an animal lives in the apartment.
“In cases when you’re not home, having a sign up on the door can save the pet’s life,” she said. “The sign will notify the firefighters that there is an animal inside that may need help.”
Source: uae news