IPOH, Malaysia - A man rushed over to a burning shop when he heard people screaming for help.
The fire, however, was just too big and it killed his brother and five others including two teenagers.
P. Appu, 48, said he rushed to the shop after hearing a loud explosion and screams for help.
"I could hear the victims screaming but there was nothing I could do because the fire was too big and the heat was too intense."
"I even heard someone calling for his mother to help."
"My brother was in the shop together with his five employees. I know all of them," said Appu who worked as a security guard at the shop which provides outdoor event services.
The identities of victims are yet to be ascertained and their bodies have been sent to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital for post-mortem.
However, one of the victim's father Mohd Kamari Talib, 36, claimed that his 16-year-old son Mohamad Ekmal Izzudin was among those who died.
Another parent Ropishah Mohammad, 48, said her 16-year-old son Ahmad Faizal Amuniddin also perished in the fire.
Perak Fire and Rescue Department deputy director Sayani Saidon said two bodies were found near the stairs.
He believed they were trying to escape.
"Another two bodies were found at the common area while two more in the bathroom.
"There were several explosions when we arrived but we managed to control the fire within 12 minutes before putting it out completely," he said.
Perak Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Asst Comm Yahya Abd Rahman said the bodies were badly burnt.
"All we know now is that there were victims. The cause of death will be known after the post-mortem," he told reporters at the scene.
SAC Yahya said a witness heard a loud explosion at 1.54pm.
The shop that caught fire was located next to a licensed shop supplying firecrackers for special effects at events.
"We are investigating whether there is a connection between these two premises.
"We are questioning one of the employees who managed to escape," he added.