The Director of Civil Defense in Damascus, Brigadier Genal Ahmed Abbas, revealed that 11 burned bodies were recovered and four people were rescued after a fire broke out at dawn on Tuesday, at around 3:50 a.m. The fire took place in the La Mirada Mall building on Hamra Street in central Damascus.
“Personnel from the Civil Defense, fire brigade, and the governorates and their directorates—as directed by the governor—were alerted immediately after the fire was reported and reached the scene at a record speed. However, the speed of the fire’s spread completely destroyed four upper floors and two basements,” Abbas said.
“Red Crescent personnel have taken four people to hospitals, where they remain in stable conditions. Nevertheless, the death and even injury toll are likely to increase. And we do not know how many people were inside the mall,” he said, adding that the upper floor is “a restaurant and apparently had workers sleeping there overnight.”
On fire’s cause, Abbas said that “so far the fires’ causes are still unknown.” He stressed that the electricity was cut during the fire period, meaning that a short circuit could not have caused the fire. It is also likely that the fire was caused by a short circuit in the mall’s generators.”
“There is a very high level of damage to the mall and, as the building cools down from the fire, the search is continuing,” he said, adding that “the fire apparently broke out on the first floor and then spread to the other floors.”
La Mirada Mall is a huge shopping mall in downtown Damascus, located in the Hamra area. A building with four upper stories and two basements, it is one of the capital’s largest malls.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.