On Thursday, a 63-story luxury hotel in Dubai, the Address Downtown, burst into flame. Nearby, at the Burj Khalifa, a fireworks display heralded the new year. On Friday morning, the Associated Press reports, smoke continued to billow from the Address as firefighters continued working to contain the fire.
More than 12 hours later on Friday morning, Dubai firefighters largely watched the fire from the ground, unable at one point to use a water hose on a ladder truck. They later regained water pressure and resumed spraying the building. Restaurants nearby opened for business, but served limited menus as civil defense officials cut natural gas to the area.
By the afternoon, the fire had largely died down, but its embers still sent smoke into the air.
Dubai’s Media Office wrote on its official Twitter account that the fire appeared to have started on a 20th floor terrace, though witnesses who saw the blaze start said they believed it began on the building’s ground floor.
The building’s developer, Dubai-based Emaar Properties, which also build the Burj Khalifa, issued a statement thanking authorities “for their immediate and professional support.”
“An investigation is ongoing and details will be provided once they are ascertained,” the statement continued.
The Emirate’s building boom over the past five years has been facilitated by the five million low-paid migrant workers living there. Many of the luxury buildings have seen worker suicides, protesting conditions. In February, another Dubai skyscraper, the Torch tower, suffered an extensive fire.