AN ENGINEERING committee will soon start examining a 14-storey building near the Ring Road in the Faisal area that has been on fire since Saturday. No casualties among the building’s residents were reported.
A technical report, due to be issued by the committee, formed by the Giza governorate, will determine whether the building needs to be demolished. The fire broke out in a store for sports shoes in the basement of the building. Investigations into the cause of the fire have been conducted by the prosecution. The fire was said to have seriously damaged the walls and the concrete columns of the building, and may lead to their weakening.
Photos posted on Facebook showed an apparent leaning of the building, warning that it would collapse any moment. Three neighbouring buildings were evacuated to ensure the safety of residents.
On Monday morning, the Ring Road was re-opened after officials from the Civil Protection Authority said the building does not constitute any danger to the road which is far enough away. Following the incident, Giza Governor Ahmed Rashid said the building was built illegally, in 2015, without a permit.
According to Rashid, the governorate was in the process of demolishing it but after a new reconciliation law went into effect the owner sought a settlement. His request was rejected. Still, he contested at the concerned committee, fighting to keep the building. The governor said that the building is nearly empty; just seven apartments out of 108 are inhabited while the rest have not been sold. In a related context, the Ministry of Local Development stressed that residents of illegal buildings have no right to receive compensation from the state in case of fire or any damage afflicting the property.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 4 February , 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly