Twelve-year-old Mohd Ikhmal said he was playing with several friends when he heard two loud explosions from a nearby house at about 1.30pm.
"I saw sparks, followed by smoke coming from the house, prompting me to alert other villagers," he said.
It was learnt that Mohd Ikhmal and his friends ran from one house to another as they knocked on their neighbours' doors, alerting them of the fire.
A villager known only as Abdul said his house was just a few feet away but he was not aware of the fire until the 12-year-old boy alerted him.
"I was sleeping when I heard him shouting and knocking frantically at my door only to see my neighbour's house completely engulfed in fire, prompting me and other villagers to help put out the fire," he said.
The 45-year-old house owner, who only wanted to be known as Amir, said he was at the Inanam market with his family of six when the fire broke out.
"We rushed home only to find our house completely destroyed in the fire," said the vegetable vendor who has stayed in the village for nearly five years.
"We are left with nothing, our documents, valuables, clothes and preparations for the fasting month have all gone up in smoke," he said, adding that they will seek shelter from relatives until everything is sorted out.
Three engines and two motorcycle unit manned by 21 personnel from the Kota Kinabalu Fire and Rescue Department led by its Operations Chief Rudy Mekii went to the scene following a distress call at about 2pm and operation ended an hour later.
In an unrelated incident, a single mother and her two children were left homeless when fire destroyed their house Kg Pikat, Bongawan the same day.
It was learnt that Isah Bangga was alone in the house with her two children when the fire broke out at about midnight.
A fire engine manned by four personnel from the Papar Fire and Rescue Department went to the scene after receiving a call at about 12.17am.
The fire had destroyed 95 per cent of the wooden house by the time the team arrived at about 12.40am.
No casualty was reported in both incidents and the cause of fire and estimated loss is still being investigated.