Building cladding might have prompted JLT fire – report

Highly inflammable cladding might have triggered the massive fire that broke out at Tamweel tower in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lake Towers district, a report by UAE daily The National claims.

"The fire appears to have started on or near the crown at the top of the building, which was covered in this cladding," Sandy Dweik of Thomas Bell-Wright International Consultants, was quoted as saying.

"The fire then spread down to the cladding, which is installed in strips running down the side of the building. The cladding acted as a fuel and this resulted in the damage we have seen,” she added.

Watch a video of Tamweel tower on fire.

The cladding is made of a combustible thermoplastic core covered with sheets of aluminium, the report claimed.

Burnt chunks of cladding have fallen as a result of the fire, burning a number of vehicles that were parked underneath the tower.

No official reason behind the fire has been announced yet, but residents are speculating that it could have been anything from a candle left burning on one of the top floors to an exploded gas container.

A Tamweel official, who declined to be named, said it was too early to draw conclusions without a detailed Civil Defence investigation, the report added.

Aluminium cladding is believed to have fuelled another fire at a 40-storey tower in Sharjah in April, the report claimed.