A fire broke out at the Address Downtown hotel in Dubai as the city celebrated 2016 with a fireworks display

By Jodi Guglielmi
Updated December 31, 2015 02:25 PM
Advertisement

A fire broke out at the Address Downtown hotel in Dubai as the United Arab Emirates city prepared to celebrate the New Year with a fireworks display.

The flames engulfed 20 stories of the luxury hotel and apartment complex, the Associated Press reports.

The Dubai Media Office took to Twitter to ensure the community that authorities are on the scene to “address the incident swiftly and safely.”

Fire caused burning debris to fall from the building as firetrucks and emergency response teams arrived on the scene, according to the AP.

At least 14 people were injured in the fire, and one person suffered from a heart attack, The New York Times reports.

A second statement released by the Dubai Media Office on Friday morning said the building was still in a “cooling down” process.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but the director of Dubai s traffic department, Saif al-Mazrouei, told The National that the fire had been accidental and had started on the outside of the hotel around the 20th floor.

“Civil defense squads continue the cooling down process at the Address Downtown hotel; the rising smoke is part of this process,” said the statement.

Onlookers awaiting the fireworks display at the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest skyscraper – on New Year’s Eve, saw the flames and immediately began posting pictures and videos of the fire to social media.

Another video showed the building burning in the background as a large crowd gathered in the streets.

“All of a sudden we saw this huge black plume of black smoke coming between the Khalifa Tower and the hotel,” tourist Michelle Duque told the BBC. “The flames burst out really big and before we knew it the whole of the Address Hotel was covered in orange flames.”

Celebrities like Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Jenner and William Shatner have all tweeted about keeping the city in their thoughts and prayers.

Before the fire, Dubai planned to ring in the New Year with three separate firework displays. The BBC estimates that up to 2 million people flocked to the city for New Year’s Eve and reports that officials plan to continue the celebration as scheduled.