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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Pearl fire rattles residents, raises concerns about Qatar’s emergency response preparedness


A small fire that recently occurred at the Pearl-Qatar has residents up in arms over what they see as a mishandling of the situation. 

The fire broke out in the early hours of Monday morning on the 13th floor of Tower 11, apparently due to a faulty washing machine. No-one was injured, and the fire was extinguished quickly.

Here’s management’s circular to residents on the incident:

Doha News has spoken to a resident who alleges that fire alarms didn’t sound on every floor of the building so that many residents didn’t know to evacuate; that fire doors were propped open; that civil defense refused to use the sirens on their vehicles to alert residents, saying this would cause panic; and that the building’s PA system wasn’t used when they felt it should have been. 

A spokesperson at The Pearl sent us this statement in response:

We had a minor incident in Tower 11 around 1:15 a.m. Monday morning; a washing machine caught fire due to an electrical fault, Civil Defense came as a precaution and there were no real damages.  A fire drill was conducted yesterday in the same building and all alarms etc… were tested; everything was in good order.

The resident we spoke to said the fire alarm didn’t sound on their floor of the tower during the test mentioned above.

They question why, in light of the Villaggio fire tragedy, their building’s systems seemed unprepared for such an emergency, particularly given this reassuring letter sent to residents by the head of the Pearl Owners Corporation on the May 31.

It promises a fire drill in June, which residents are telling us had not yet happened:


Credit: Photo by Rizwan Doha

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