It was late at night and we were all asleep, when maa almost pulled us from the bed and asked us to run. I was sleeping with my sister and we both woke up scared. We could hear people screaming outside and completely unaware of what was happening we ran behind maa.

When I reached out, I saw a huge number of people standing outside and some of them were shouting and asking us to come out of the building. They were all pointing upstairs and when I leaned to look what was happening there, I was shocked. For the first time in my life, I saw huge flames of fire coming out from the outlets of the building. People living upstairs were all trapped inside. Everyone was screaming and it was a scary thing to see. There was no way they could walk downstairs; the entire staircase was burning in flames.  Smoke started getting in their house and the people inside started coughing.

There were two families living upstairs. One with three young children of our age and the other family had two old people. We were all praying for their safety and were worried how can their lives be saved. Then, someone from the crowd suggested, they all jump from their balcony as that was the only option left. The crowd below gathered with bedsheets and asked the kids to jump on it. two kids jumped on it and the crowd cheered but the third kid was utterly scared. She could not jump and instead her foot slipped and she fell with a lot of bruises all over her body. She was rushed to our neighbours house for first-aid. After the kids, their parents also made their way somehow and were saved. The other family that had two elderly people, could not gather the courage to jump and kept waiting at their balcony. By then, the fire brigade arrived and the fire was brought under control.


It was also the first time I saw how a fire brigade works. So much in one single night. The other family was finally rescued and thankfully everyone was safe. It was almost morning by then and one by one we entered the building to see what happened. Our beautiful building was burnt badly, the walls were all black, the stairs were wet because of the water that was thrown from the fire brigade and the wooden doors were also burnt. We were lucky that the fire was brought down right on time. If it had entered the rooms, where we had gas cylinders in every household, you can imagine what would have happened. Luckily, we also woke up immediately and helped others to come out of the building otherwise, all would have died in sleep. A lot more damage could have happened but we were fortunate to come out of that incident safe and alive.


The actual cause of fire was uncertain, there were investigations later but we didn’t come to know what happened that night. After a few days, the entire building including the interiors of our homes were all painted and we couldn’t stop looking at how beautiful it appeared. That unfortunate incident was the talk of the town for a long time, it was everywhere in the local newspapers and people from far and near came to check our wellbeing. We had sleepless nights for the next few days and my parents would double check the entire house before going to sleep. The flames, the fumes, the screams scared us for a long time and that incident became a nightmare. Even thirty years later, when I write about it, I get jitters.


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V – VISA that was Never Used




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3 thoughts on “U – Unfortunate Incident  ”

  1. oh my this would have been so scary! We too had a fire in our building in Dubai. I remember how scary it was!

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