“WHEN I was walking home and saw thick smoke from afar, it did not strike me that it was my house that was on fire,” said Zaiton Jamatin, a victim of a fire in Kampung Contoh, Petagas, Putatan, Sabah last night.
Zaiton, 56, said nothing was saved because there was no one at home at the time.
“I was shocked to see my house razed to the ground,” said Zaiton, who has been living in the village for 40 years.
More than 10 houses were destroyed in the fire but fortunately, there were no casualties.
Another victim, Yati Bania, 45, said when the fire broke out at about 9pm, she panicked and raised the alarm.
“The fire spread so fast that I did not have time to save important items such as identification documents,” she said.
Madzin Pulau, 40, said although the fire spread quickly, he managed to save some important documents.
“However, I couldn’t save other belongings. But what is important is that none of my family members were injured in this incident,” he said.
Form two student Nor Syafina Mohd Azmi, 14, said at the time of the incident, she was doing her school homework in a room.
“When I heard screams of fire outside the house, I just ran out, leaving my books behind,” she said.
Meanwhile, Community Development and People’s Wellbeing Minister Shahelmy Yahya said the government will provide as much help as possible to ease the burden of the victims, including providing temporary shelter.
“I am reviewing the situation and will get detailed information from the Disaster Operations Control Centre to identify the immediate assistance for the victims,” he said.
He said an evacuation centre has been opened at Dewan Sri Putatan but only 29 victims from six households are taking shelter there.
“I understand that the fire affected 17 households with 76 people. However, the other victims decided to temporarily stay with their relatives,” he added. – Bernama, June 17, 2022.