300 Homeless in Tawau Fire
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A blaze that lasted for seven hours destroyed 60 homes and left some 300 people homeless at Kg Otentik, Jalan Tanjung Batu Laut, on Monday.
An aerial view of the affected area measuring 900 by 400 sq. ft showed a circular shape of destruction.
Firefighters assisted by villagers scrambled to stop the fire from spreading, while other agencies helped in controlling the situation.
District Fire and Rescue Department Chief, Sharudy Delamin said a 7.54pm distress call via MERS 999 prompted 47 firefighters to the scene some seven kilometres away.
Also there to assist were a team from the Merotai Fire and Rescue Volunteer Team.
Three houses were already engulfed in flames by the time the first team arrived 10 minutes later.
However strong winds and the close proximity of the homes resulted in the inferno spreading quickly to other premises.
The team also had difficulty accessing the area, in addition to the fact that most of the houses had walls and gates made of tyres.
He said the team sourced water from the fire engines’ water tank, fire hydrant and river, but again they were faced with another challenge of having low water pressure from the fire hydrant.
They, however, managed to bring the fire under control about 12.48am with operations only ending about 4.58am on Tuesday.
He said nobody was reported hurt in the fire, while the cause and estimated loss is still being probed.
Other agencies involved in the operation included the Water Department, police, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd, Rela and the Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM).