TAWAU, Jan 12 — Forty residents in Taman Victoria here lost their homes after nine of the double-storey houses in Lorong 4 of the residential area were destroyed in a fire this afternoon.
Tawau Fire and Rescue Station chief Rastam Keladi said 32 firefighters and four fire engines were deployed to the scene after receiving an emergency call at 1.54pm.
“One house has been saved and the cause of the fire is still under investigation,” he told Bernama today.
Muliadi Muhidin, 55, a victim of the fire, said he had only wanted to ensure the safety of his wife and children after hearing the screams of neighbours and seeing the flames.
“I had just returned from Friday prayers was about to go to sleep when I heard the screams of fire, fire. I immediately looked outside and saw the flames raging in a neighbouring house and thick smoke. I quickly made sure that my wife and children were safe.
“I could only save my car and my four cats, the rest is gone. I have lived here for 30 years and am still in shock because it happened so suddenly,” he said.
74-year-old Amin Alan was about to have a meal when he heard noises and was shocked to see his neighbour’s house on the left was on fire.
“I immediately told my wife and son to leave the house. We rushed out with only our clothes on.
Kukusan assemblyman Rina Jainal said basic assistance of RM500 and other aid from various agencies will be provided to the victims.
Rina, who is also political secretary to the Sabah finance minister, said the Welfare Department is currently collecting data on the affected victims and a temporary relief centre would be opened if needed. — Bernama