Muscat: A fire broke out in the basement of an apartment building located in the Central Business District of Ruwi yesterday.
The fire started in the basement, which houses a printing press and an AC installation and electrical repair shop.
However, only the latter was affected. Officials are still investigating the matter.
“We think that it was because of a short circuit; however we don’t know how it happened because we have fire extinguishers here, we always turn the main switchboard off and so there is no power here, so we are still looking into what caused it,” an eyewitness said.
“It was only our office which was affected by the fire and four to five ACs were damaged and some of the interiors were also damaged. We usually don’t sit in the office because we do all the installations outside, this is just an office for people to come and enquire.”
The building consists of four or five residential flats and two or three offices on its other two floors.
Several officials from the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA) rushed to the site and put the fire out after making sure that everyone in the building was fine.
“We were in our apartment watching TV when we heard stones being thrown at our windows,” said an eyewitness and resident of the building. “We got out and saw that there were people who had pulled over their cars on the flyover that passes directly in front of our building and were trying to tell us that there was a fire in our basement. We also sensed that burning smell and immediately started alerting others in the building.”
Syed Bilal, another eyewitness and a resident of the neighbourhood, said he was a bit shocked to see the fire. “I saw smoke while getting out of my car at about 1pm and smelt something burning, so I looked around and saw fumes of smoke coming out of the building. I went a little closer to see the building and spotted the fire. A lot of people had gathered in the area and the Royal Oman Police (ROP) was there to control the situation and was guiding people to stay away.”
“I saw that PACDA was trying to make sure that everyone was okay, which was great and after that they started putting the fire out.”