Picture credit: Hilda @dhuyanik on Twitter
A recklessly-thrown cigarette butt led to the fire at the Torch Tower in Dubai Marina on August 4 this year, the Dubai police has said.
The fire, which engulfed the 86-storey tower, forced all the residents to evacuate from their homes. No casualties were reported in the accident, although some of the houses were damaged.
According to police investigations, the cigarette butt thrown from an upper floor landed in a potted plant on the balcony, which likely led to the blaze.
Major-General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, commander-in-chief of the Dubai Police, told local reporters that police had also carried out experiments to confirm the possibility of such an incident.
This is the second time that the tower – believed to be the fifth tallest residential building in the world – has caught fire in the last two years.
The exact cause of the previous blaze in February 2015 is unknown but there was speculation that it was started by a barbeque or shisha coal left out on a balcony.
According to Dubai Civil Defence officials, electrical faults and cigarette butts have been the main causes of fires in Dubai since 2015.
Fire accidents have led to 15 deaths since 2015, with 179 injured. That includes four people who died and 66 people who were injured in fires this year.
The civil defence department has responded to 57 incidents so far in 2017, with most of them minor.
Most fire accidents occur in Al Quoz, Al Satwa and Al Karama.
Officials urged for greater awareness to reduce the occurrence of fire accidents.