25 lives, $25m lost to fires in Brunei in 3 years

25 lives, $25m lost to fires in Brunei in 3 years
Over $25 million and 25 lives were lost to fires in the past three years, the Fire and Rescue Department said. The main causes of fire were electric fire, kitchen fire, loose LPG hose and gas leak, among others
PHOTO: Brunei Times/ANN

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Over $25 million and 25 lives were lost to fires in the past three years, the Fire and Rescue Department said.

Station Officer Andi Karmila Waty Hj Abdul Karim, who is also a public relations officer for the department, said 80 per cent of the fires were attributed to human error and negligence.

The main causes of fire in Brunei were electric fire, kitchen fire, loose LPG hose and gas leak, children playing with fire as well as lighting cigarettes, she told The Brunei Times.

Citing statistics compiled from 2013 to June 2015, she said majority of the fire-related deaths were from vehicle fires.

Twenty people were killed and 204 were injured in vehicle blazes, which may be caused by collision of cars, illegal modifications to vehicles, vehicle defects and loose compartments that can result in sparks.

Forty-six vehicle fire cases have been reported this year, with an estimated loss of $242,700.

Three injuries were also recorded.

Last year, vehicle blazes claimed nine lives and caused $392,800 losses.

No deaths have been reported from fires this year.

Meanwhile, there were 29 cases of residential fire cases this year compared with 63 and 52 cases in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

To date, residential fires have already caused $1.061 million worth of damages this year.

Andi Karmila said the department recorded $4.518 million in losses to residential blazes in 2013, the highest amount since 2011.

Two deaths were also reported as a result of residential fires last year.

The station officer went on to say that building infernos caused $17.223 million in losses in the past three years.

This year, 28 cases of building fires and damages worth $1.025 million have been reported.

In 2014, the department received 51 building fire calls, up from 49 in the previous year. Three deaths were also recorded in one of the fires last year.

The department further reminded members of the public to be extra vigilant especially with the upcoming Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebrations this week.

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