Two houses gutted, child injured

Lyna Mohamad

Two houses were destroyed in two separate fires in a span of just over an hour yesterday afternoon where a child sustained minor injuries and several pet cats were killed.

The Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) first received a distress call about a fire at a double storied concrete house in Kampong Subok at 11.20am. Four fire engines from the Bandar Seri Begawan, Berakas and Beribi Fire Stations were immediately dispatched.

According to FRD sources, the fire had gutted the first floor of the double storey house when they arrived while seven family members were already safe outside the house.
The 19 firefighters doused the fire in two minutes using three water sources provided from the fire engine tank and fire hydrants.

In an interview with the Weekend Bulletin, Tiah binti Haji Yusof, a family member of the house that caught fire in Kampong Subok, said she was on her routine Friday outing with her sibling when they stopped by for a drink at a restaurant near the house.

She said while at the restaurant, she saw a cloud of black smoke and wondered whose house was on fire. Tiah then saw her husband running towards her and informed that their house was on fire.

On arriving at her house, she noticed the blaze on the first floor where the family sleeps and despite being shocked, she checked on all family members comprising her children, daughter-in-law and grandchildren who were safely outdoors.

Two houses were destroyed in two separate fires in a span of just over an hour yesterday afternoon where a child sustained minor injuries and several pet cats were killed. Photo shows thick smoke rising from a house in Kampong Subok.
FRD personnel douse fire at the scene in Kampong Kiarong. PHOTO: FRD

She said by the time the fire engine arrived, the first floor was gutted. The fire engulfing other areas was immediately doused by the firefighters.

Tiah, who is a retired teacher, shared the loss of several of their pet cats in the fire, including the parents of their two-week old kittens. Five kittens and one cat were rescued.

Her son shared that he had woken up and was about to go out of his bedroom when he saw the fire from his parents’ bedroom.

He alerted his father who was in the shower and other family members.

While he and another sibling ran down to move their cars, his father grabbed the two grandchildren out of the house and handed them to the neighbours who had come to assist them.

He said while his car was spared from the fire, the car keys were totally destroyed. The family was not able to save important documents.

He said the five kittens managed to survive as he believed the kittens’ mother covered the kittens during the fire and died from smoke suffocation including the other cats in the cage.
Tiah’s family has temporarily moved to her sister’s house nearby.

Over an hour later, the FRD operation room received another emergency call about a fire in Kampong Kiarong at 12.38pm.

Three fire engines from Beribi and Berakas Fire Stations were immediately dispatched along with 11 firefighters.

The fire had gutted the vacant concrete bungalow and the FRD team immediately put out the fire using two water sources.

The fire was doused in three minutes with no fatalities or injuries. The causes and losses are under investigation.

The FRD advised the public to equip their residences with a fire extinguisher and fire blanket, to switch-off all electrical equipment before leaving the house or if not in use and never leave the stove unattended. The public can call 995 during an emergency.