Despite the devastating effects of Saturday’s fire at the Dubai Marina’s Torch residential building, Cafe Martinez provided free meals to the refuges of the tower that were asked to stay at the 97th floor of the area’s Princess Tower where they are situated.
For 36 hours the restaurant provided more than 400 sandwiches, toast, eggs, 400 coffees and teas, plus water, juices and anything else to those forced to leave their homes. The café remained open 24 hours serving the usual a la carte and providing a safe and cosy environment where residents could also charge their phone, use WIFI and perhaps more importantly rest.
They weren’t the only ones providing a helping hand in the city.
Japanese dining franchise Sumo Sushi and Bento announced that those who were a victim of the fire could get a free meal and drink for relief by bringing in ID or leaving a contact number plus previous apartment number in the two days following.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from one of the world's tallest residential buildings when fire swept through the 79-storey skyscraper.
Medics said there were no casualties. At least a dozen fire trucks were able to extinguish the blaze several hours after the fire alarm went off in the early hours of the morning.
However, some residents said they had been told by staff that the building's fire alarms did not immediately sound and that the reception at The Torch was alerted to the fire by staff in an adjacent building.
Reuters could not independently verify the status of the fire alarms. The building manager could not be reached for comment.
Residents of neighbouring towers were returning to their homes around 0430 local time, but residents of The Torch were told they would not be allowed back into the building until the fire officials gave approval later on Saturday. Residents of upper floors that were most affected were told it would be days before they could return.
Dubai civil defense officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and the cause of the fire remained unclear.