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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Fire at Qatar Foundation continues to smolder 12 hours later

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Fire at Qatar Foundation
Fire at Qatar Foundation

With reporting from Lesley Walker and Marium Saeed

An overnight fire has ripped through a construction office property on the western edge of Education City, destroying several buildings.

Officials say no one was injured in the blaze, which started at approximately 11:20pm on Monday evening. The cause is being investigated.

The site, located near Education City’s gate 15, was used by project management firm Astad.

This morning, Civil Defense firefighters appeared to still be working to completely extinguish the fire, as it continued to emit thick smoke that was clearly visible from other parts of campus.

Water tankers could be seen arriving on the site alongside additional firefighters and police officers.

Fire at Qatar Foundation
Fire at Qatar Foundation

The property appeared to house several low-rise buildings that were badly damaged in the fire. Many of the building’s metal roofs appeared warped and the steel supports buckled.

In a statement, Qatar Foundation said the building was empty when the fire started. Civil Defense brought the blaze under control, and a joint investigation is being carried out to determine how the fire started.

The company has been involved in more than a dozen projects in the vicinity, including the Qatar National Convention Center, Qatar Science and Technology Park, the Sidra Medical Research Center as well as several Education City buildings such as Texas A&M University, Georgetown University, Northwestern University and the Student Center, among others.

Speaking to Doha News, an Astad spokesperson said the company has a business continuity plan and would be able to relocate its operations “with minimal disruption.”

Last night’s blaze comes at the start of the so-called “busy fire season.”

During the hot summer months, the outbreak of fires are far more common here as electricity consumption skyrockets, leading to more short circuits, officials have previously said.

Did you see last night’s blaze? Thoughts?

16 COMMENTS

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KEO
KEO
6 years ago

These offices are (were) better known as KEO Education City Core office, as these were previously entirely occupied by KEO International Consultants. ASTAD has moved in during the last couple of years while KEO’s involvement in the Education Projects dwindled.

Source: Self (a long term KEO employee who had an office there from 2008 until mid 2012).

Exp@t
Exp@t
6 years ago
Reply to  KEO

I’m not sure what or how your comment contribute to the story; nonetheless, (and if my memory serves me well) ASTAD was founded year 2009 or better say emerged from QP Special Projects division which was in principle QF’s representative and in one way or the other your employer. Hence, ASTAD did not move in in the last couple of years.

(PS: Relatively speaking, couple of years would mean 2013 onwards which is also an inaccurate statement. Something which I personally suffered from with lots of KEO employees)

Anonymous
Anonymous
6 years ago
Reply to  Exp@t

I am an ASTAD staff and agree with what KEO stated above. The burned office building was previously occupied by KEO as its Core Office in EC and is currently being used by ASTAD as annex office building when the fire broke. However, ASTAD has a separate Core Office in Education City.

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

You may or may not like my comment, but ASTAD is a parasitic organization that adds an expensive, unnecessary layer to the QF-KEO cosy relationship

Exp@t
Exp@t
6 years ago
Reply to  al-Lalal

Al-lalal lol I wasn’t aware KEO QF is that cozy. But calling them (Astad) parasitic implies calling QF parasites unless u r not aware that they are a 50/50 QF QP joint venture. And is their a cozier relationship between one and one’s own self? They have a saying/proverb which says (translation): I love you my beautiful bracelet BUT As much as my wrist NOT

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
6 years ago
Reply to  Exp@t

Everyone knows what ASTAD is. The value they add somehow escapes me.

Exp@t
Exp@t
6 years ago
Reply to  al-Lalal

Well that’s not for me to judge. Nonetheless, should I put all business ethics aside, I would say most probably QF asked the same question when they sacked KEO. It’s business after all, when u don’t get any value out of what u pay for, u simply end that service 🙂 or?

Exp@t
Exp@t
6 years ago
Reply to  al-Lalal

R u a KEO employee too?

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
6 years ago
Reply to  Exp@t

No, God forbid 🙂

Exp@t
Exp@t
6 years ago
Reply to  al-Lalal

LoL then is there any PM or CM to your liking which you can recommend to QF

Exp@t
Exp@t
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

No doubt 🙂 he did state that one right…it was the KEO core team office indeed. However, the inaccuracy was with the ASTAD stepping in statement “couple of years”

Anonymous
Anonymous
6 years ago
Reply to  Exp@t

I think KEO was actually referring to the time when ASTAD occupied the annex building. If that is the case then he’s right as ASTAD started using the annex building sometime in mid 2012 due to the growing numbers of ASTAD staff deployed at EC.

Exp@t
Exp@t
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

In this business, when one tends not to be too accurate in his or her statements or when one tends to leave him or herself the liberty of reading minds and interpretation whether in good or bad faith/will, is the point where one cease to add value 🙂

But again I congratulate ASTAD for the good will and good faith they got. I’m not sure why would Al-lalal comment by calling u parasitic lol

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Deleting the rest of this thread because it’s totally off-track.

SAK
SAK
6 years ago
Reply to  Exp@t

The offices were KEO’s till ASTAD moved their Supervision Division to those offices. ASTAD moved in around 2014. What is important now is ( DID ASTAD archive the files which were stored in those offices. The offices contained files of all EDUCATION city projects since inception. What is also important is that ASTAD HSE team reported fire hazard risks to which ASTAD management which did not pay heed to the report.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

New in Qatar! Play Doha Building Fire Bingo!

For a limited period this summer get together with friends, draw the names of buildings out of a hat, put in 1000 QR each and when you building catches fire, bingo! You are a winner!
(In fact everyone is guaranteed to win)

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