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Fire at downtown Dubai’s highrise Address hotel

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(CNN)A massive fire broke out Thursday night at the high-end Address hotel in downtown Dubai, the government of the United Arab Emirates’ most populous city said.

Video showed orange tentacles of flames swirling up the outside of several stories at the high-rise hotel’s midsection.

As many as four crews of firefighters are battling the blaze, the government said. Early reports from Dubai authorities said the fire started on the 20th floor, perhaps a couple hours before a New Year’s Eve fireworks display was to have started over the city.

The Address hotel describes itself as “the premier five-star hotel” in Dubai. It stands near the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper.

Jaqueline Hurtado, a CNN en Español correspondent, said she was at a restaurant in the area when she heard an explosion, “like a loud pop,” and thought the fireworks display may have started early. Then she noticed flames.

Then she and others noticed flames at the hotel, and she and others were evacuated from the area.

“That fire was big. The fire was just going so fast,” she said. “It just started burning real quick.”

Dubai resident Joseph Tobing said he was waiting for the fireworks when the fire started around 9:30 p.m. Tobing said the fire became”massive” and didn’t appear to be under control.

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