Elderly Man Dies; 60 Houses At Kg Titingan Wiped Out In Early Morning Blaze

A man died after he fainted due to breathing difficulties as fire broke out at the Titingan squatter colony in Tawau soon after midnight Tuesday. – Photo credit BOMBA Tawau

TAWAU: An elderly man died from breathing difficulties as fire swept through the infamous Kampung Titingan, at Jalan Tawau Lama early Tuesday morning – the second time a major fire happened in the same squatter colony this year.

Sabon Ola, 82, a resident in the area, collapsed as firemen were battling the blazeand was rushed to the district hospital in an ambulance but he died without regaining consciousness, according to a spokesman from the Fire and Rescue Department.

Some 60 houses were said to have been razed to the ground.

The spokesman also said in a statement that some 60 houses covering three blocks in the squatter colony were destroyed in the fire that started at about 12.45am Tuesday.

Upon receiving the distress call 10 minutes later, four fire engines with 26 personnel were rushed to the scene. They were later assisted by a four-man team from Kunak.

According to the spokesman, the proximity of the houses caused the fire to spread quickly.

The firemen managed to bring the blaze under control at about 2.30am but remained in the area to douse the embers and make sure the fire did no reignite until 4.00am.

The spokesman added that they are investigating the cause of the fire and estimating the losses incurred by the victims.