Thursday, February 5, 2009

60 homeless as fire razes six houses in Tatau

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Folk of the village milling about in floodwaters as fire razes the houses

BINTULU: Six double-storey houses in Kampung Dagang in Tatau near here were razed in an early morning fire on Feb 3 which left at least 60 people homeless.

The 1.30am incident occurred when the area was under floodwater.

The victims, comprising the young and old, were transferred to a nearby relief centre.

One of the victims, who did not want to be identified, said he and hs family were sleeping on the first floor of his house when he was suddenly awakened by noises coming from outside his house.

A check showed the house next to his was on fire.

“I immediately alerted my family members before grabbing some important documents and getting out of the house,” he said adding that the village was under about four feet of water at that time.

It is believed most of the villagers failed to save any of their belongings in their haste to escape the inferno by boat.

“I lost cash, electrical appliances, MyKad, credit cards and bank account books in the fire,” said another victim.

He said he tried to go to the first floor of his houses but was prevented by the blaze.

Those who managed to save some of their belongings brought the items to safety by boat.

No casualty was reported in the incident.

It is learnt that a police officer who went to their rescue sustained minor injuries and had to receive treatment at the Bintulu Hospital.

Most of the houses in kampong Dagang are made of wood.

Firemen who rushed to the scene after receiving an emergency call manage to bring the blaze under control in about 40 minutes.

The cause of the fire is not known. Estimated loss to property has yet to be ascertained.

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