MAKKAH: A fire raged through the top 10 floors of a high-rise building under construction close to the Grand Mosque in Makkah early morning yesterday, but no deaths or serious injuries were reported.
"The fire broke out at around 1 a.m. Thirty-five units of the Civil Defense were involved in extinguishing the fire that swept through the 32nd and 41st floors of the Hagar Tower, which is part of the King Abdul Aziz Endowment Project," Maj. Gen. Ali Al-Muntasheri, spokesman for the Civil Defense, told Arab News.
"The concerted efforts of firefighters brought the fire under control and prevented it from spreading to other buildings in the neighborhood without any loss of life or serious injuries," Al-Muntasheri said.
The official said the high wind and combustible wooden scaffolding caused the fire to spread quickly onto 10 floors. He added that firefighters from outside Makkah were also called in to help.
Civil Defense helicopters were not deployed to fight the fire because of the unfavorable wind factor, he said.
No workers were at the site when the fire broke out. The cause of the fire is not yet known but investigations are under way.
One pilgrim died from smoke inhalation and four others were injured last month when a fire broke out at a hotel in the central area of the holy city. Firefighters evacuated 93 pilgrims from the five-story hotel in the Al-Mesfala area before the fire was extinguished.
In April this year, another hotel on the busy Ibrahim Al-Khalil Street of the city was evacuated after a fire broke out on the third floor of the building following a gas cylinder explosion. Fourteen pilgrims suffered problems due to smoke inhalation