One carelessly discarded cigarette butt caused the fire that ripped through Sharjah’s Abbco Tower last week, authorities said on Sunday.
The Sharjah Police’s investigation revealed that the lit cigarette butt landed on a pile of cartons on the first floor of the building and started the blaze.
“It must have been thrown by someone from the upper floors or a neighbouring building,” said Brig Ahmed Al Serkal, director of forensic laboratories and acting director of police operation.
“Cigarette butts have long been a major cause of fire accidents in towers and high-rise buildings in the country,” he said. In fact, it was among the top causes of fire in Sharjah last year.
The blaze gutted the first floor of Abbco Tower, and when it reached the exteriors, it quickly spread throughout the façade as this was covered with the banned ‘aluminum composite cladding’, a highly flammable material.
“It is unfortunate that one silly act of a careless person has caused such huge damage,” Brig Al Serkal said.
“Police investigation is under way to identify the person who tossed the cigarette and take him to court for legal action.”