Daily Express
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
Established since 1963
RM2mil losses in Putatan blaze

Published on: Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Putatan: A restaurant, textile shop and pharmacy, as well as units above these premises were severely damaged in a 10.45am blaze, Tuesday.

Losses have been estimated at about RM2 million.

A hardware shop next to the restaurant and a Malay restaurant next to the pharmacy were spared.

The textile shop's 27-year-old owner, Mohd Zulfikar Umar, said his family business of selling textiles, carpets and mattresses for over 13 years at the premises ended in the fire causing him losses of almost RM1 million.

He said the first and second floors above his shop were used as storerooms for the carpets and accommodation for the workers while the first floor above the restaurant was a storeroom and first and second floors above the pharmacy were also storerooms.

Restaurant owner Jamal bin Mohamad who had been operating since 2008, estimated his losses at almost RM200,000. One of his workers, Ibrahim, said he smelled something burning coming from the first floor above the textile shop and asked people to check. However, later, they saw thick black smoke emitting from the units above the textile shop.

Another female restaurant worker, Sarinah, was taking a bath when she heard people shouting. She managed to put on a nightgown but was unable to salvage her personal belongings. She and her friends lived in the rooms above the textile shops.

A fishmonger, Mitchie Bologo, 50, said he saw thick black smoke from units above the textile shop and later fire which prompted workers from the three premises to run to safety.

Pharmacy owner, Simon Ting, 40, estimated losses involving medicines and renovation works at about RM500,000.

He said he contacted the Fire and Rescue Department as soon as his staff informed him.

Ting started operating the pharmacy in October 2009.

Four fire engines from Penampang and Kota Kinabalu were dispatched to the scene after a distress call at 10.55am.

The fire was brought under control at 12.31pm and doused at about 4pm.

No casualties were reported and the cause is still under investigation.

Deputy Chief Minister cum Petagas assemblyman Datuk Yahya Hussin visited the scene and met the affected owners and staff.