Workers rush into blaze in Penang to rescue woman

Workers rush into blaze in Penang to rescue woman
Smoke rising from the burning shophouses as firemen work to extinguish the fire along Penang Road.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

GEORGE TOWN - Ten Vietnamese workers rescued an Indonesian woman who was trapped in a burning shophouse in Penang Road.

They forced open the roller shutter before carrying the unconscious woman, known as Ika, to safety when fire gutted three connecting units of an antique and souvenir shop at 9.30am yesterday.

The 30-year-old woman was sent to Penang Hospital for treatment, where her condition is reported to be stable.

The workers, who were carrying out renovation work at a pre-war building nearby, rushed to the site after learning about the fire.

It is learnt that the woman was crying out for help and hitting the shutter repeatedly.

The workers went back to work after the heroic act.

One of them known as Huyen, 40, did not say much when approached by reporters.

He said they were busy with work.

Penang Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Mohd Azman Hussin said 32 firemen were involved in the rescue operation which destroyed 90 per cent of the three units.

"We saw thick black smoke billowing from the shophouses upon reaching the scene.

"We are still investigating the cause of the fire," he said.

The shop owner was too distraught to talk to the press.

The fire also caused a massive jam in Penang Road.

At 3.30pm yesterday, another fire broke out at a neighbouring unit of the gutted antique and souvenir shop. The shop selling women's attire was 70 per cent destroyed in the second fire.

Mohd Azman said the fire could have started from burning embers which was not completely put out at the neighbouring unit.

He said the fire was completely extinguished at 7.10pm.

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