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17 Jul, 2012 09:03

150m skyscraper ablaze as fire tears through Polat Tower in Istanbul (VIDEO)

A large blaze has broken out in a 42-story tower block in the center of the Turkish city of Istanbul. Firefighting crews brought the fire under control, rescuing those who had been trapped inside by the flames.

Footage from Turkish TV showed the building wrapped in a cloud of black smoke and debris falling from the block. State TV reported that helicopters were deployed to help bring the inferno under control."All of them left [those trapped by the fire] the building in a healthy condition. We also rescued a few pets. Our biggest reward is there was no loss of life,” said Adnan Polat, owner of the tower block. He added that the “building has an early warning system and this incident showed the importance of it to everyone." A faulty air conditioner may have triggered the blaze, Istanbul’s governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu was quoted as saying."The building's fire-extinguishing system automatically activated. Otherwise we could have faced a huge disaster," Mayor Mustafa Sarigul told the Associated Press, adding that the inside of the tower had not been damaged by the flames.The Polat Tower in Istanbul’s Fulya business district is made up of both residential flats and offices.Nearby buildings and a petrol station were evacuated as a precaution. Roads have also been cordoned off in the area.