Two houses razed in morning blaze

KUCHING - It will be a bleak Hari Raya Puasa for three families who lost their homes in a fire here yesterday.

Their houses, along with a fourth, whose occupants could not be found, caught fire yesterday.

Two houses were razed and two others damaged in the fire which started about 7.30am in Kampung Sungai Bedil in Petra Jaya here.

One of the victims, Sudirman Arin, 47, said he was about to send orders for his homemade lemang and tapai by boat when he saw smoke billowing from the direction of his wooden house 200m away.

"I was in a boat with my wife when we saw the smoke. We rushed home because five of our children were sleeping at home.

"Fortunately, our neighbours had brought them out to safety by the time we arrived," he said.

Petra Jaya fire station chief Mohd Raffy Saibi said three engines and 44 firefighters were sent to the scene after a distress call was received.

"On arrival, we found that two of the houses were completely razed to the ground and that the fire was spreading fast to two other units.

"The team, however, managed to got the blaze under control within 45 minutes." He said there were 21 people living in the four houses and that no one was hurt. Another victim, Mohd Shahrizal Bujang, 42, said he had little time to save his belongings as the fire had spread fast. "I had planned for a bigger Aidilfitri celebration this year and had prepared a lot.

"Now, after the fire, I think we just have to make do with a small celebration."

In Penampang, five houses in Jalan Bukit Vor, Petagas, were destroyed in a 7.30pm blaze on Tuesday.

One of the victims, Mohd Hariaddy Mohd Fenddy, 33, was breaking fast with his pregnant wife at home.

"After dinner, we went to Pasir Putih to pick up furniture from my mother and drove home.

"We were gone only for few minutes. I was shocked to see our house on fire."

District Fire and Rescue Department operations supervisor Marcus Junior said the department received a distress call at 7.36pm and deployed 15 firemen to the scene.

The team took 10 minutes to put out the fire.

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