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Woman sobs as wedding materials go up in smoke

Published on: Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: A 27-year-old woman on Tuesday thought nothing of her good fortune of not being at home when fire broke out at the police barrack here.

She was distraught, sobbing uncontrollably at the scene, as the blaze had destroyed wedding materials she has been putting together for her marriage this November.

She was not at home when the fire severely damaged two units of a four-storey police barrack about 1.30pm, believed to have started on the first floor and spread to the other unit on the second floor. She lived in the first floor unit together with her father, Sergeant Othman Morshidi, 52, and mother as well as four other siblings.

Othman told reporters that he was alerted by his second child that their house was on fire about 1.50pm.

Although many of his belongings were damaged or destroyed including his daughter's wedding material, he said he is grateful to God that no one was at home when the incident happened.

Othman said the police will relocate his family to another police barrack at the police quarters in the Karamunsing police station.

Kota Kinabalu Fire and Rescue operation head, Jimmy Lagung, said they dispatched three fire engines and 24 firefighters to the scene upon receiving a distress call at 1.37pm.

He said swift action by the firefighters prevented the fire from affecting six other units in the building.

"Through our initial investigation, we estimated that the fire had destroyed 50 per cent of the unit on the first floor and 20 per cent of another unit on the second floor.

"No casualties were reported and we are still investigating the cause of the fire and losses incurred," he said.

According to Jimmy, seven occupants including four children aged two months old to four were saved from other units in the same building.

He said no one was injured in the incident but felt weak as they were having breathing difficulties but in stable condition.

Of the seven people, he said a man in his 30s was rescued from the building using a ladder placed outside his unit while the rest were brought down the stairs by firefighters.