Fire destroys 34 houses in Sandakan water village
Published on: Monday, March 18, 2019
By: Mardinah Jikur
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SANDAKAN: A man sustained burns while two firefighters suffered mild electrical shock in a fire that destroyed 34 stilt houses in Kampung Air, Bokara, Jalan Batu Sapi, here, early Sunday.

The 52-year-old victim reportedly suffered burns on five per cent of his body and was rushed to the Duchess of Kent Hospital here after receiving initial treatment from the Emergency Medical Rescue Service (EMRS) team. 

Sherly Bandico, 33, said her husband Abidin Salman was trying to save their house when his left hand got burnt.

Abidin and other residents were assisting the firefighting operation in the incident which, according to an unofficial estimate, rendered more than 500 people homeless.

Sherly said she was grateful that her family – three children and sons-in-law - were unharmed and their property untouched by the fire, thanks to the Fire Department’s quick action. 

She said they were made aware of the fire from shouts by villagers while waking up for dawn prayers.

Some of the walkways that connected the stilt houses were made of cement while others of wood, which helped the fire spread quickly.

Sandakan Zone 6 Head Annddre Andrew said two firefighters suffered mild electrical shock when wading in the seawater.

“The firefighters were forced to stay in the chest-deep water to fight the fire after some of the walkways collapsed,” he said.

“However, both firefighters were reported to be stable,” said Annddre, adding the cause and estimated loss were under investigation.

According to Annddre, the department received a call about the incident at 5.28am and dispatched three fire engines, one EMRS vehicle, one investigation and two utility vehicles with 25 firefighters from the Sandakan fire station.

“We managed to control the fire from spreading to hundreds of nearby houses and a surau,” he said.

Firefighters brought the fire under control at 6.30am and ended their operations at 10.30am, said Anddre, who led the firefighting efforts.

He said the operation was assisted by the Karamunting Volunteer Fire Rescue Team, police, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd, Water Department, Sandakan Malaysian Civil Defence Force, Rela and villagers.

The Sandakan Parliamentary Liaison Officer, representatives from the Sekong and Karamunting State Assemblymen’s office and the Welfare Department registered the victims and surveyed avenues of assistance that could be provided to those affected.

Some of the victims were sheltered at the Kampung Air Multipurpose Hall, here.



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