Fujairah fire: An entire village is left shocked

The sleepy seaside village of Rol Dhadna, a few miles ahead of the Dibba beach in Fujairah, was left reeling in shock after the sudden and tragic deaths of seven children from the Al Saridi family.

“Nothing of great consequence ever happens in this village. This tragic and traumatic incident has shocked us all,” Sulaiman T, an employee of Al Husna Supermarket in Fujairah, told Khaleej Times.

7 children suffocate to death in their sleep in Fujairah

A tragic house fire in the early hours of Monday morning claimed the lives of the seven children, aged 5 to 13.

Musfata, a grocery delivery boy, said: “The kids used to keep coming to our shops for sweets and other items. I heard the police and fire brigade sirens when I was returning from the Fajr prayer. I realised that there was a fire, but nothing really prepared me for what I saw and heard after.”

Another shopkeeper at Al Husna Supermarket said the sounds of laughing children would echo through the narrow streets leading up to the tight cluster of houses where the incident took place. Yesterday, however, an eerie silence filled the narrow roads leading up to their home.

“A lot of kids in this locality come to play in the area … You can see them throughout the day. The children from Al Saridi family would play, too. I just cannot believe that we won’t see them again.”

Several hundred family members, relatives, friends and members of the public from across the UAE visited the home to pay their respects. “Nothing this terrible has ever happened in this village,” said Nazir S, a laundry service provider in the area.

It is said that a short circuit caused the fire and the kids’ mother made a distress call at 5:40am, saying that there was a fire in her home and her children were stuck inside.

Abdullah Saeed Al Saridi, a cousin of the children’s mother, said: “She had just returned from Thailand after a medical treatment and woke up late at night for medications. She immediately alerted the family, but the smoke was so bad … no one could enter to save the children.”

The children’s grandfather, Mohammed Saeed Al Sairidi, could be seen taking condolences from relatives and well-wishers, unable to really speak to anyone. Abdullah added: “The family has already seen too much loss. I am not sure how we can recover from this.”

After the funeral proceedings on Monday afternoon, Khaleej Times took a closer look at the aftermath of the fire. The fire had completely burnt down most of the rooms in the villa and the entire area had the faint smell of burning debris.

“Nothing was left behind … this fire took everything we had. We will never be the same again,” said another uncle, who was found squatting outside the house, staring dejectedly into the ground, as the call for Asr prayers echoed through the area, shattering the eerie silence.