500 Sandakan Villagers Made Homeless by Fire
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34 Sandakan homes were destroyed by a fire that spread early this past Sunday in Kampung Air, Bokara. One victim suffered burns on five percent of his body and was rushed to the Duchess of Kent Hospital while two firefighters suffered mild electric shocks.
An unofficial estimate rendered more than 500 people have been made homeless due to the devastating incident. Sherly Bandico, wife of burn victim, Abidin Salman said they were made aware of the fire from the shouts of fellow villagers while waking up for dawn prayers. She expressed gratitude to the Fire Departments swift action that saved their home and the lives of Kampung Air Bokara’s residents.
Sandakan Zone 6 Head Annddre Andrew said two firefighters suffered mild electrical shock when wading in the seawater.
“The firefighters were forced to stay in the chest-deep water to fight the fire after some of the walkways collapsed,” he said.
“However, both firefighters were reported to be stable,” said Annddre, adding the cause and estimated loss were under investigation.
After the department received the distress call at 5:28AM, the firefighters managed to bring the fire under control by 6:30am and ended their operations at 10:30AM. The operation was assisted by the Karamunting Volunteer Fire Rescue Team, police, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd, Water Department, Sandakan Malaysian Civil Defence Force, Rela and villagers.
The Sandakan Parliamentary Liaison Officer, representatives from the Sekong and Karamunting State Assemblymen’s office and the Welfare Department registered the victims and surveyed avenues of assistance that could be provided to those affected.
Some of the victims were sheltered at the Kampung Air Multipurpose Hall, here.