Jeddah warehouses gutted
A huge fire tore through wood warehouses in Jeddah’s Kilo 8 district on the historic Jeddah-Makkah Road on Saturday morning, authorities said.
The fire sent a thick cloud of black smoke over the east side of the historic road, which could be seen from a distance.
The fire was reported at 11:35 a.m.
A total of 27 firefighting teams were rushed to the scene to contain the fire, which gutted three wood and construction materials warehouses spanning an area of 7,500 square meters, the Civil Defense said.
Strong winds and stored flammable material contributed to the quick spread of the fire, according to Col. Saeed Sarhan, public relations director at the Makkah Civil Defense Department.
The firefighting teams spent several hours containing the fire before it spread to adjacent warehouses in the heavily populated area. At least 70 percent of the fire was contained by 7 p.m., the statement said.
No fatalities were reported.
The Red Crescent, however, provided on-site treatment to one firefighter who suffered suffocation and for another who sustained minor injuries.
“Many volunteers helped the firefighters put out the fire,” Sarhan said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, he added.
Residents in the area have raised concerns about the safety of the warehouses around them. “We hope that these warehouses will be relocated away from residential areas,” said Wadah Ahmed.
“They pose a great hazard to local residents. Most of these warehouses lack basic safety measures, which is the reason they are not covered by insurance companies,” he added.
“It is just a matter of time before another fire breaks out,” he said. “I was sleeping when it happened. It was like an explosion that startled me, although I live far away from the fire site,” Umm Aiash, a resident, said on a social media site.
“I feel the government needs to carefully monitor and thoroughly investigate the underground business behind all the warehouses in Kilo 8,” said Abu Attabah.