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106 homeless in Putatan blaze
Published on: Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: A total of 25 families comprising 106 people were made homeless when fire swept through their water village, damaging 17 houses in Kg. Pasir Putih, Putatan, here, early Saturday.

However there were no casualties.

A 54-year-old resident, known only as Saimah, said she was rudely awakened by a commotion only to see her neigbour's house on fire.

"I alerted my family when I saw that the fire was spreading fast towards our house," said the mother of five who is originally from Kota Belud but who has stayed in Putatan for 30 years.

It was learnt that her husband, a MAS employee working in the cargo division, was at work when the fire broke out.

"We have spent more than RM20,000 to renovate our house which was supposed to be ready for my daughter's wedding reception soon, but now everything is damaged in the fire," she said when met at the scene.

Another resident, 56-year-old businessman who only wanted to be known as Mohd said he together with ten of his family members managed to escape as fire razed their house. "I did not think of anything else but saving my family, especially my grandchildren," he said, adding that the family had spent RM100,000 to build the house which they shared for years.

"It is indeed a loss for us, but I am thankful my family is safe," he said.

A total of three fire engines manned by 23 personnel from the Kota Kinabalu and Penampang Fire and Rescue Department arrived at the scene following a distress call at about 2.52am.

The fire was put out at about 4.30am and the cause of fire and estimated loss are still under investigation.

Fire victims are temporarily sheltered at the Community Hall in the area.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin who was at the site said the government will provide welfare assistance such as building materials which would lessen the burden of fire victims.

Yahya who is also Agriculture and Food Industry Minister advised homeowners to abide by the building requirements and make it systematic as this would make it easier for fire and rescue to enter the area in case of emergencies.

He also advised people not to obstruct access to fire hydrants, as it would jeopardise the rescue missions.

On another note, he said he will bring the proposal for a Fire and Rescue Station to be set up in the area to the attention of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

In Kota Belud, a two-storey semi-concrete house was razed in a 7.24am fire at Jalan Kudat, Kg. Kota Belud the same day.

A fire engine manned by ten personnel from the Kota Belud Fire and Rescue Department managed to put the fire out at about 9.15am.

No casualty was reported, while the cause of fire and estimated loss are still being investigated.

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