Published on: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Keningau: Some 500 plywood workers were made homeless when 100 of their living quarters were destroyed in a fire, here, Wednesday.
The fire which occurred at 1.45pm at Mile 5, along Jalan Nabawan, is said to be the biggest in the district. Almost half the workers were at the plywood factory about 200 metres from their quarters when the fire broke out.
Fanned by strong winds, it destroyed more quarters and old buildings in the same area.
District Fire and Rescue Services head, Janil Jaya, said no casualties were reported and several workers managed to salvage their belongings.
He said they received a distress call at 2.03pm and dispatched two fire engines with 15 firefighters to the scene.
"We faced a shortage of water from the existing hydrant because of no water pressure.
Hence, my men immediately searched for water sources from inside the factory and river to put out the fire.
"Losses of properties run up to millions of ringgit," he said, adding that the fire was brought under control at 6.05pm. At press time, the firefighters were still conducting the operation to douse the fire completely.
Simon Samuel, who lost his home, said he was working in the factory when the incident occurred. He said they heard people shouting and screaming for help outside the factory and saw fire raging in their quarters starting from the last block.
Janil said the department is still investigating the incident.
Simon said the the fire was believed to have occurred when a refrigerator in the middle of the quarters exploded and caught fire.