Man chokes to death in burning building

SIBU - A man suffocated to death after he was trapped in a building that caught fire here yesterday.

The victim, identified as C. Ravendran, 50, was found dead in his quarters at the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation at Tanjung Manis-Sungai Bidut after firefighters put out the blaze about 8.30am.

Sungai Merah Fire and Rescue Services Department Chief Mashidi Taha said the fire broke out about 7am.

A team of 12 firefighters was despatched to the scene after a call was made, he said.

"We believe the victim tried to escape, but failed and was overwhelmed by thick smoke."

He said the staff quarters was located about 90km away from Sungai Merah station.

"Due to the distance, our men arrived when the building was almost completely burnt down."