With reporting from Peter Kovessy
For the second time in three weeks, a fire has broken out at the former Civil Defense building on Wadi Al Sail.
Thick black smoke could be seen billowing from the building this morning.
About 15 minutes after residents began sharing photos of the smoke online, the Ministry of Interior tweeted in Arabic that the fire has been contained. A tweet in English soon followed:
— Ministry of Interior (@MOI_QatarEn) September 14, 2014
Speaking to Doha News, a supervisor on site said the fire began on the roof of the garage, and that an investigation would be conducted about its cause. However, a construction worker said the blaze began inside the garage.
Though the fire has been brought under control, traffic has been at a standstill due to the smoke, emergency vehicles and gawkers.
The building has been under construction for several months to be converted into a new arts center by Qatar Museums called “The Fire Station.”
In a statement sent to Doha News, QM said:
“Qatar Museums prides itself on its record of safe construction at the major museums projects currently being built in Doha. We do not anticipate major delays, as a result of these two most recent incidents, to the re-opening of the iconic Fire Station building as a major cultural arts centre for Qatar and the region.”
Last month, another fire broke out on the roof of the garage there, as a worker was using a torch to apply asphalt to the roof of the low-rise building.
Many residents who saw the smoke expressed disbelief that another fire occurred at the building in such a short time span:
Did the same building catch fire twice? Is there like a giant magnifying glass held to it?
— Sandeep Pamulapati (@PSandeepReddy) September 14, 2014
— Bright Thomas (@Brighthomas) September 14, 2014