Hotel fire erupts near New Year's fireworks location in Dubai

Hotel fire erupts near New Year's fireworks location in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Fire broke out Thursday in a residential building near the world's tallest skyscraper in Dubai, where a massive New Year's fireworks display was set to be held.

Currently, there are at least four firefighting brigades at the site to deal with the blaze and ensure the safety of the public, according to the Twitter account of the Dubai government's media office. "Authorities are now on-site to address the incident swiftly and safely".

Fire engulfed a 63-story skyscraper in downtown Dubai near the world's tallest building on Thursday night, but the block was successfully evacuated and there were only light injuries, the emirate's police chief said.

It's not clear yet what caused the blaze, but Dubai Police say it appears to have started outside, on the 20th floor.

"The alarms went off when the building was already properly on fire", he said. The show was to begin at the Burj Khalifa, which organizers said was fitted with 400,000 LED lights.

From there, the fireworks were to light up the sky around the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab and later down near the Dubai Marina. To manage the crowds, Dubai police had closed off some roads and the metro before the fire broke out. They said 1.6 tons of fireworks would be used in the display.

Almost an hour after the fire began, some onlookers began to leave while others stood, pressed against crowd barricades, watching the blaze.

UAE Civil Defence officials said there were no casualties resulting from the blaze and New Year's celebrations would continue as normal, the Reuters news agency reported.

"It's pretty scary stuff", she said. "It spread so quickly when it started", he said.

The fire broke out as Dubai was preparing to celebrate New Year. She too was concerned about threats from extremists like the Islamic State group.

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