Sunday, May 2, 2010

26 people lose homes in fire

SANDAKAN: About 26 people were made homeless when a fire gutted six wooden houses inclusive of sundry shops at Kampung Cahaya Baru, Mile 3, here at 10.30pm on Tuesday. District Fire and Rescue Services operation chief Rozali Mohd Awang Ahmad said they received a distress call at 10.49pm from Joseph Sungar Angkat, 68, a sundry shop operator opposite the gutted houses.

According to Joseph, about 26 people lost their homes. However, Rozali said they were investigating to determine the total number of fire victims. “We immediately dispatched three fire engines with 20 firemen to the scene at 10.52pm. “We managed to control the fire which was very tense and put it out at 1.30am,” he said.

He added that the cause of fire and the estimated loss of property were still under investigation. But there was no casualty reported, Rozali said. One of sundry shop operators, Zulkifli Amsi, 49, who has been operating his business for almost two years claimed that she suffered about RM50,000 in losses. He believed the fire started at the left corner of the row of houses.

Another sundry shop operator, Lajurus Sandipal, 57, a Fire Field Force (PGA) staff said he lost around RM30,000. The fire victims hoped for some assistance from the Welfare Department. “We hope that the Sandakan Municipal Council and our elected representatives would assist us to apply for low-cost houses,” said Lajurus, who has been in the General Operations Force (GOF) for the past 23 years.

Meanwhile, Elopura state assemblyman Au Kam Wah said he would send his officers to meet the fire victims to study the situation. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Sandakan MP Datuk Liew Vui Keong, said he sympathised with the fire victims. “I have already instructed my officers to visit the victims to make a report. “I will extend whatever assistance to the local residents and the victims. “They can come to my office at Mile 1.5 and meet my officers to make arrangements so that we can assist them,” he said.

Source The Borneo Post April 29, 2010

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