SELANGOR - Nine people, including two children, were killed in two separate predawn fires in Selangor, Malaysia.
In the first incident, the remains of an elderly couple - aged 73 and 68 - were found along with the bodies of their grandsons, aged nine and three. This happened after a team of firemen put out the fire that razed the wooden house in Tanjung Sepat, Banting on Wednesday (Dec 13), following an emergency call at 6.08am.
The identities of the victims are currently being withheld by the authorities.
Selangor Fire and Rescue Department assistant director (operations) Mohd Sani Harul said the house was completely destroyed in the fire.
"The remains have been sent to the Banting district hospital where a post-mortem will be conducted," he said.
However, the case has been reclassified as murder after investigators found elements of foul play.
Selangor crime investigation department chief Fadzil Ahmat said police found cuts and slash wounds on three of the victims' bodies.
"It prompted us to reclassify the case to murder.
"We believe that they could have been killed before the house was set ablaze. However, we will only be able to determine the real cause of death once the post-mortem result is out.
"We're also probing whether they were robbed before their house was set ablaze," he said.
In a separate case, four elderly residents and a 25-year-old caretaker died after a fire razed a nursing home for the elderly in Sungai Long, Kajang.
Mr Sani said his department received a distress call on the fire at about 5am on Wednesday.
He said the victims had been identified as Leow Chong Fatt, Teo Hoi Foo, Kwan Sak Seen, and Lai Siew Ying - all of them in their 60s and 70s. The caretaker was identified as Awis Muhammad.
He added that four other occupants of the home managed to escape.