All those killed were Pakistani trucker drivers living in a small community of five houses. Another two persons were injured and transferred to Al Ain Hospital, the Gulf News reported.
Brigadier Khamees Awad, director of Quick Response Centre in Al Zakher area, where the incident occurred, said the operations room received a call at 5.53am and immediately sent rescue teams who prevented the fire from spreading any further.
The fire had initially spread because residents delayed calling the operations room of the Civil Defence, he added.
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The incident may have been caused by a short circuit, according to officials who are investigating the case.
The fire rapidly engulfed the five houses in a row as the truck drivers who died in the incident had stored highly flammable substances like diesel and vehicle lubrications.
The blaze charred the houses in minutes, neighbours who saved a number of people said.
Five affected families have sent their surviving family members back home.
The fire led to the bursting of four cooking gas cylinders, which ripped through all cement houses and parking lots. The fire also engulfed three parked vehicles, one of which belonged to a victim.
Witnesses who rescued people told Gulf News that seven persons were living in a ground-floor room — all Pakistanis from one family. According to the witness, the fire also started from the room and was so huge it blocked the residents from escaping.
Three people from the same room locked themselves in the bathroom and tried to escape from the sheeted roof but only one survived, a neighbour said.
The police urged residents to call them immediately in case of fire.
A spokesperson of Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi said: “The embassy is providing all possible help to the distressed families who lost their loved ones in the incident.”
He added that the embassy’s community welfare section was trying its best to help the victims.
“We sent two embassy officials to Al Ain and they are working along with the friends and families of the victims. We have also got passport copies of the victims and will repatriate the bodies as soon as the legal formalities are completed.”
The embassy is working closely with local authorities, the spokesperson said.