Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Seven houses destroyed as wheelchair-bound man escapes from fiery death


A 29-year-old disabled man escaped from being burnt to death in a fire that destroyed seven houses at Kampung Inanam Laut here yesterday. Wheelchair-bound Mohd Jaini said he was watching TV at the living room when his double storey wooden house suddenly caught fire. “I was at the ground floor watching TV when I heard a small explosion coming from one of the rooms upstairs,” he said. Jaini who lived in the house with his parents, sibling and five relatives, was alone downstairs when the fire broke out. As the smoke began to fill the living room, he realized something was terribly wrong and wanted to get out of the house quickly. His 23-year-old cousin Herman who was at home, quickly called for help from a neighbour. Herman returned to the burning house with a 20-year-old friend and carried Jaini and his wheelchair out to safety. Jaini’s house was destroyed with six others, leaving a total of 4O people homeless, just five days after a similar incident occurred in the area. The fire engulfed the house very quickly despite the drizzle and spread to the adjacent houses before the firefighters arrived, said an eyewitness. In another fire in Tuaran, two brothers were injured after their wooden house at Kampung Talibung were destroyed in a fire yesterday morning. In the 8.52am incident, Norfarah Mohd Rizal, 13, suffered burns on the face while his three-year-old brother, Mohd Sobrie, was injured on the back, body and hand. Abang Norfarah, Mohd Arfah, 20, and the twin brother of Mohd Sobrie identified only as Sukri, were not injured. When the fire broke out, Norfarah and his brother were sleeping while the twins were in the living room. Mohd Arfah who was awakened by the heat from the fire, alerted Norfarah before taking their siblings out of the burning house. Their parents were working during the incident. Both injured victims were sent to the Tuaran Hospital for treatment. The officer-in-charge of Tuaran Fire and Rescue Services Station, Mazlan Sarman, said one engine with six personnel rushed to the scene after receiving a distress call at 8.56am. When they arrived, the whole house was already on fire. The firemen managed to prevent the fire from spreading within 10 minutes. The cause of the fire and amount of damage are still under investigation.