Rescue efforts by neighbours hampered due to locked gate

KUANTAN (Bernama) – Neighbours of the three family members killed in a fire in  Kampong Sungai Isap 2 claimed they were not able to help the victims because the house was locked.

Abdul Rahim Osman, 59, said he was returning home after performing the Subuh prayer at a mosque when he saw the house on fire and rushed to the scene with a few other passers-by to help.

“The house gate was locked, but we managed to get in by squeezing through a gap at the end of  the fence, and when we got to the house, the door was also locked.

“By the time we managed to break into the house, we were able to rescue five of them. We knew there were eight people in the house, but with the fire spreading and the heat, it was no longer safe for us to go in,” he told reporters yesterday.

He said two families were staying in the house but he did not know the occupants well as they only moved into the rented house recently.

Three family members perished in the fire which broke out about 7.45am. The victims were Sharifah Azlina binti Syed Kassim, 37, and her two sons, Muhammad Haikal Hakimi Hairol, 11, and seven-year-old Muhammad Adam Daniel.

Four other occupants in the house were injured, including three with serious injuries. Another, who is a child, was reported unhurt.

The fire was believed to have started from the centre of the house and spread to three houses nearby.

A next-door neighbour, Norhaminuddin Zakaria, 44, said he heard an explosion and went out of his house to check.

“I saw my neighbour’s house on fire and quickly went inside my house again to bring out my father, who is paralysed, to a safe place before returning to help other neighbours who were trying to get into the burning house to rescue the occupants.

“However, the fire was spreading fast and the situation became chaotic. We did everything we could, but were told that three of the occupants perished,” he added.

A house in Kampong Sungai Isap 2 engulfed in flames. – BERNAMA