Videos: Humberston journalist's dramatic escape from blaze in Dubai tower block
A JOURNALIST from Humberston made a dramatic escape from her 14th floor Dubai apartment when flames engulfed the 34-floor building.
Sarah Swain, 31, was among 600 people to be evacuated from the glamorous Tamweel Towers apartment block in the United Arab Emirates city when a fire gutted the roof and upper floors of the building.
Sarah, who has been in the country since September, described how the burning cladding "rained down" on the sea of spectators below as firefighters battled to put out the flames.
She said: "The fire burnt the whole of the floor away and as it is covered in cladding, that was catching fire and raining down onto the street and the cars below.
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"It was like something out of a nightmare, we couldn't believe it was happening.
"The fire was quickly spreading all over because of the cladding. It was a crazy situation and worrying how fast the fire spread."
Sarah was living on the 14th floor with her friend from Sheffield University.
A former Humberston Secondary School student and Grimsby Telegraph work experience girl, she left her job as a journalist at the Glasgow Evening Times to start a new job on a Dubai newspaper.
The blaze happened at 2am local time on Sunday and sent waves of black smoke drifting over the city's major shopping and apartment development, known as Jumeirah Lakes Towers, a cluster of high-rise apartment buildings and shops on the southern edge of Dubai.
Sarah and her friend were put up for the night in a hotel and an apartment, but their possessions – and three house cats – were trapped inside the building when the alarm sounded and they were evacuated from the apartment.
Sarah continued: "We heard the alarm going off and we jumped out of bed and started making our way down the staircase. We thought it was a false alarm. After a few floors we could smell smoke and we just thought 'oh my God!' and started running.
"It was awful, there seemed to be no other people coming down until we got to the bottom and saw a family with a baby.
"When we were climbing down the staircase, going round and round, I couldn't help but think of the World Trade Centre. Because the building is so tall it seemed to take us ages to get out.
"By the time we had made our way out, one side of the tower roof was on fire. We couldn't believe it, we were in shock, we both feel very lucky."
The cats were later rescued from the building and are none the worse for their ordeal.
Thankfully no one was injured in the fire, but it hasn't stopped Sarah's mother Jean, from worrying.
Jean, 66 of Sheraton Drive, said: "Obviously when I got the phone call I was quite concerned but as long as she is now safe I feel better. Possessions don't mean anything, the main thing is she is ok."