| James Kon |
A TALE of heroism by a group of local firefighters has emerged from the aftermath of the massive fire that broke out at a furniture shop in Chuchu Plaza, Jalan Tutong last Thursday.
Firefighters from the Fire and Rescue Department managed to whisk to safety six residents trapped at the ledge of the uppermost floor of the building, the residents forced to take such measures after trying unsuccessfully to escape the building as the stairways were filled with smoke.
Recounting the incident, one of the trapped residents who wished to stay anonymous told the Bulletin the story of Dayang A, a 47-year-old Bruneian mother and her 23-year-old daughter Dayang B who have been staying for almost 10 years at the rented apartment on the third floor of the building.
“At the time of the fire, I was performing Zohor prayer when I heard noises, as if someone had a fight downstairs,” she said. “A few minutes later I overheard the staff working at second floor shouting ‘get out, get out’.”
She added that after going out of her room to check what was happening, she noticed that smoke has risen to the upper floors from the burning furniture shop on the ground floor.
“Dayang A then went back inside her room and alerted her daughter of the situation and told her to keep all her cats inside the cage,” she said.
“We were trying to escape through the stairway, but thick black smoke had already accumulated there and visibility was bad. I told Dayang A’s daughter, who was suffering from asthma and anxiety, to go to the ledge of the building to get some fresh air.
“Our neighbour, a Briton and his Bruneian wife and their seven-year-old grandson, as well as a worker from India followed us – the latter initially went to his room in the second floor to get his passport and documents, but was forced to go up to the third floor as he couldn’t go back down due to the thick smoke.
“Eventually firefighters arrived and provided us with breathing apparatus to help us breathe as the smoke was very thick. We were led safely out of the building where we were given treatment by paramedics.”