KUWAIT: More than 35 shops were charred and an old four-storey building was destroyed in Kuwait City’s Mubarakiya Market on the morning of the New Year’s first day. However, no casualties were reported. The massive blaze left a trail of destruction in Kuwait’s traditional market.
It took five fire tenders to bring the fire under control. The fire was reported at the ‘Souk Al-Hareem’ (women’s market) side of the historical place, where at least 40 firefighters and 14 fire trucks were rushed after an emergency call was received at 9:17 am. The first unit reached the site within three minutes of the emergency call. Following a comprehensive plan, firefighters evacuated the building, cut off power supply from nearby generators and fought the flames. The fire was brought under control within a record time, considering the size of the affected premises.
Except for “a mild case of suffocation suffered by a firefighter,” no other casualties were reported, General Director of the Kuwait Fire Services Department, Major General Yousuf Al-Ansari, said. An investigation would now determine the cause of the fire while KFSD Deputy General Director, Brigadier General Khalid Al-Mikrad, hinted at legal action in view of violations pertaining to safety and security conditions. The fact that the roof of the four storey building was being rented illegally to house the workers may also attract punitive action. In another development, fire broke out in Souq Al-Hareem in downtown Kuwait yesterday.
Medical emergency department sent seven ambulances to the site with 14 medical technicians in anticipation of any possible causalities. Only one causality was however dealt with and the injured was rushed to Amiri Hospital. The injured was an Ethiopian expat who broke his right leg after falling from the building. (link)
I'm so sad!!!!!!!!! I haven't been there in a while, you never think it will one day be completely destroyed. This is another historical site destroyed and a blow to saving what's left of Kuwait's past. Did any officials check the buildings on a regular basis? Probably not. Was there any protocol in case of a fire? Doubt it. I place blame on the management who takes care of it, if they looked after it properly and made sure it was up to code annually this might have been prevented. People don't care about historical sites because the focus of the new generation is to have the latest Louis Vuitton bag or to drive the most expensive cars not looking back to when their family lived in tents. It can be rebuilt of course but it will never be the same. When I see the old pictures of the souk it stills looks almost the same as it does or did today. I now wish I would have gone there and taken my children but now it's too late. *heartbroken*