In Malaysia

Squatter houses razed in KL blaze

KUALA LUMPUR • A fire razed 15 squatter houses at Jalan Raja Muda Musa in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, yesterday.

No one was injured in the fire, which started at about 9.30am, Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department operations management chief Ahmad Adli Abdul Rahman said at the scene.

He added that the department was alerted at 9.39am and 50 firefighters, with the assistance of people in the area, brought the fire under control at 10.12am. The fire was put out at 11.14am.

Thick smoke from the fire, in the heart of the city, was visible several kilometres away.

An eyewitness, Mr Mohd Syawal Indra, 28, said: "I also heard people screaming for help and quickly went to help put out the fire. We were successful in almost extinguishing the blaze at one point, but explosions of gas cylinders caused the fire to spread."

Ms Zaharatulnisa Zuharno, 37, who has been living in rented premises there since 2004, said she lost all her belongings to the fire, including important documents such as her children's birth certificates.

"We now have only the clothes on our back. We do not know how and where the fire started, but we do not want to blame anyone," she said.

Second Finance Minister and Titiwangsa MP, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, said all the victims would be temporarily accommodated at units of the People's Housing Programme.

He said it was believed that the fire started from a rented house.

"I would like to advise tenants not to tamper with any electrical wiring without the knowledge of Tenaga Nasional Berhad," he told reporters at the scene, referring to the national electricity provider.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2017, with the headline 'Squatter houses razed in KL blaze'. Print Edition | Subscribe