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Doha News

Fire at Souq Al Granada

Firefighters in Qatar are on the scene of a blaze at a souq in Al Messila this afternoon.

Plumes of thick smoke could be seen in the area after the fire broke out at Granada Souq around 4pm.

According to police officers on the site, there have been no injuries.

‘Personal calamity’

But the fire has already destroyed some shops in the souq, which is home to offices, salons and a music store, among other businesses.

“It’s a personal calamity,” said one man who worked at an Arabic instrument shop that burned down.

The cause of the fire remains unknown for now. But one person said the whole souq has been without power for days, and was running off a generator.

Does anyone know more? Thoughts?

Livingonthecheap.com

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Hundreds of Qatar residents are reeling after two fires over the past few days gutted their labor camps and destroyed their belongings.

The first fire affected a labor camp in Al Shahaniya on Friday, while a separate blaze at an accommodation in Al Saliya yesterday has also left workers in need.

About 500 people lived in the Al Shahaniya camp, including low-income workers from the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The fire took place on Friday afternoon at an UrbaCon Trading & Contracting Co. (UCC) accommodation.

Neither the Ministry of Interior (MOI) nor UCC have publicly commented on the blaze, or what caused it.

But Philippine embassy officials told the Qatar Tribune that no one was killed in the fire.

How to help

However, many people have lost their passports and other personal belongings.

The newspaper quoted the embassy’s labor attache as saying:

“We spoke with the company’s management and learned that they have extended assistance to the victims by distributing QR200 per worker for their urgent requirements. We also urged them to transfer the affected workers to a better accommodation.”

Community members are now organizing in-kind donation drives to help the workers. They are seeking items such as men’s clothes, toiletries, blankets and food.

Those who wish to donate items are asked to drop them off at UCC housing in Al Shahaniya, at Gate 2.

Khalid Jay Abd'laziz

Workers affected by fire in Al Shahaniya

Alternatively, the Pinoy Offroaders Qatar group is willing to transport donations to the men.

Another local group, Doha Kabayan, is collecting groceries, bedding and other items given “from the heart,” though cash is not being accepted.

Second fire

A separate fire in a different labor camp erupted yesterday. According to the MOI, the blaze was put out without any injuries.

However, a lot of property was left damaged and one resident told Doha News that workers there are also in need of food and clothes.

More details about that fire are still emerging, but donations can also be made by visiting the camp, Al Siliya Workers Village Gate 17.

Thoughts?

Mall of Qatar rendering

Mall of Qatar

Mall of Qatar rendering

The under-construction Mall of Qatar experienced a “small fire” yesterday, but there were no injuries or damage, the shopping center has said.

This is at least the second fire to break out at MOQ in the past six months.

In April, a much-larger blaze took hours for Civil Defense to put out.

At the time, MOQ said that its 14,000 laborers and staff were safely evacuated during the blaze, and that an investigation was underway.

December launch

When it opens, MOQ will have over 500 shops, including 100 food and beverage outlets.

But getting all these businesses ready to open has taken time. The mall has pushed back its opening date twice so far this year, first from August to October.

Then earlier this month, officials set a new December launch date to ensure more “key offerings and facilities” would be available.

At the time, they added that the mall had secured its building completion certificate, signaling that construction was finished.

Mall of Qatar rendering

Mall of Qatar

Mall of Qatar rendering

But they did not say whether the necessary Civil Defense permits had been obtained yet.

In its most recent statement about the fire this week, MOQ said the incident occurred at a store that is undergoing fit outs.

It added:

“At Mall of Qatar we have invested in the latest state-of-the-art fire control systems that worked perfectly.

Moreover, our safety and security officers are highly trained to act promptly in emergency situations. On top of this, we follow global best practices when it comes to safety and emergency evacuation procedures.”

Thoughts?