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Elderly man dies in house fire (2019)

Photo circulated on social media shows the wooden house in Kampong Sungai Besar engulfed in flames

BY Hakim Hayat

An 83-year-old man was killed in a blaze that completely destroyed his family’s wooden house in Simpang 595, Kampong Sungai Besar, on Thursday.

An eyewitness, Isbah bin Zaini, 38, who lives next to the gutted house, told the Bulletin that he was on his way home when he saw smoke billowing from that area.

“I was shocked to see our neighbour’s house on fire, and when I asked the house owner about it, he said his grandfather was still inside. We tried to save him, but the fire was so intense that no one was able to go in,” he said.

Isbah added that he and several other neighbours had attempted to put out the fire while waiting for help to arrive.

Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) personnel said that four fire engines from the Mentiri, Bandar Seri Begawan and Beribi Fire Stations were immediately deployed to the scene, along with a fireboat from the Sungai Kebun Fire Station, after they received an alert at 9.25am.

Firefighters dousing the fire

The aftermath of the gutted house. PHOTOS: FRD

A team of 22 firefighters under Commanding Officer of Operation ‘A’ Branch, Senior Superintendent of Fire and Rescue Noor Aflan bin Kachi, took about 22 minutes to contain the fire.

The elderly man’s death was confirmed by the FRD, after his remains were retrieved from the house.

Department sources said investigations are on to verify the cause of the fire and to ascertain the total losses from the incident.

Meanwhile, the FRD issued an advisory reminding the public about the dangers of electrical circuit overloads, a major cause of residential fires.

Home owners are advised to make sure that electrical wiring in their houses is in good condition by carrying out inspections through accredited Department of Electrical Services (DES) companies. Homes also should be equipped with fire extinguishers and detectors for safety.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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