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Fire hits Dubai high-rise tower near Burj Khalifa

Fire hits Dubai high-rise tower near Burj Khalifa

Dubai: A huge fire at a 60-storey tower near the Burj Khalifa Sunday sent a thick black smoke billowing over central Dubai that enveloped the world's tallest building, the latest in a series of worrying blazes to hit the desert city.

The fire broke out early morning at the under-construction residential tower named 'The Address Residence Fountain Views' near Dubai's biggest shopping mall.

No casualty was reported and the fire was brought under control by firefighters pulled in from eight stations after hours-long effort.

Dubai Civil Defence and Dubai Police initially rescued three workers trapped by the fire. Another worker was rescued later.

The Dubai Media Office said the property - which has three towers, each 60 floors high - belonged to local developer Emaar and was due to be completed by April next year.

Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi said the fire started in the parking area on the fifth floor and then quickly spread to the seventh floor, the Gulf News reported.

He did not explain the cause of the fire.

"We received a call at 5.35 am, about a fire in Fountain Views Tower in Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard. The fire firefighter arrived at 5.40am. It was a big fire," he said.

Cooling operations at the tower will continue.

Mohammad Jaseem, who lives in a building opposite to the tower damaged in the fire, said his family woke up hearing the sirens of police cars and fire trucks, the Khaleej Times reported. Eyewitnesses also saw helicopters and teams of fire trucks on the site.

Authorities had cordoned off nearby roads, but the thick black smoke could be seen from miles away.

The site of the blaze was next to a 63-storey tower which was was heavily damaged in a fire on New Year's Eve in 2015.

Major fires have hit high-rises in Dubai in recent years, mainly due to flammable material used in cladding, a covering used on the side of the buildings.

In July last year, the 75-storey Sulafa tower was gutted in a fire. And in 2012, a blaze gutted the 34-storey Tamweel Tower in Jumeirah Lake Towers district.

Dubai, located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, has become iconic for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings.

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