Tents for 2,600 after fire razes homes in Malaysia

Tents for 2,600 after fire razes homes in Malaysia

KOTA KINABALU - Tents will be provided as temporary accommodation for the 2,600 people made homeless in a fire that swept through the Kampung Bangau Bangau seaside settlement in the east coast Semporna district.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said a site had been identified for the temporary relocation of the victims.

"I will ask the National Security Council officials to provide tents as soon as possible," he said yesterday after visiting the site of the fire located next to Semporna town.

Shafie, who is also Semporna MP, visited the victims currently housed at the district community hall and a Youth and Sports centre.

Authorities, he said, would ensure that the victims were well taken care of, adding that medical teams had been deployed around the clock at the two locations.

Later, Shafie witnessed the handing over of RM80,000 (S$30,000) in aid from Risda and Felcra - two agencies under his ministry - to the victims.

The 2am fire on Wednesday destroyed more than 400 wooden houses on stilts in the village. No casualties were reported.

Semporna police subsequently arrested a 17-year-old boy, believed to have tossed a Molotov cocktail into his house after his mother refused his demand for money just 20 minutes earlier.

The blaze, was the worst in Semporna since 2003 when fire destroyed several hundred homes in the same settlement.

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