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Illogical authorities will set fire to homes: Police
Published on: Tuesday, June 11, 2024
By: Jonathan Nicholas
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Illogical authorities will set fire to homes: Police
The Kg Bangka-Bangka fire which destroyed 26 illegal wooden structures.
Kota Kinabalu: It is illogical for authorities to burn down houses even during anti-illegal immigrant operations, said City Police Chief ACP Kasim Muda.

He was disputing a man’s claim in a viral video that the Government through police had deliberately burned down their homes, resulting in the destruction of 26 illegal wooden structures at Kg Bangka-Bangka, Kalansanan, in Inanam, Monday afternoon.

Kasim said police and other agencies were carrying out routine anti-crime, illegal immigrant and narcotics operations some 50 metres away when the fire broke out.

“The fire is believed to have sparked from an overloaded electrical circuit in one of the homes which was supplying electricity to many neighbours.  

“The Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) arrived in six minutes upon receiving the 12.53pm distress call.

ACP Kasim

“Destruction spread rapidly due to strong winds and because the wooden houses were built very near each other.

“The man’s claim in the viral video is completely untrue. We are here not to burn down houses but to combat crime.

“The police and the Government will never deliberately set fire to homes even if they belong to illegal immigrants or otherwise,” he said when met at the scene.

Kasim said the victims, who number more than a hundred, will be spending the night at their relatives or the nearby surau.

“We are awaiting the FRD’s full report and will continue investigations. We are not denying the possibility that it was due to electricity theft.”

A team of 26 firemen from the Lintas and Kota Kinabalu Fire and Rescue Stations faced difficulty in accessing the scene due to “too many illegal electricity connections”.

Lintas Station Chief Agustavia Joe Guasi said fire engines were unable to close in because the stilt house walkways were either damaged or had collapsed.

“The team had to wade through sewage water.

For safety reasons, SESB advised us to be careful due to too many illegal electrical connections.

“The forensics team also experienced delay due to concerns that there were still live illegal connections,” she said.

Agustavia explained they had only acted to extinguish the remaining embers upon their arrival.

The operation was deemed under control at 2pm and ended at 4.05pm without casualties.

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