Fire Destroys 35 Water Houses In Meruntum, 221 Left Homeless

KOTA KINABALU: Some 221 people from 45 families were left homeless after a fire destroyed 35 water village houses in Meruntum, Putatan yesterday evening.

The Putatan district disaster management secretariat, in a statement, said the 62 victims had been placed at the temporary evacuation centre (PPS) at the Serigai People’s Housing Program (PPR), while another PPS at Dewan Keramat had yet to receive any victims.

Of the total number of victims, 42 families were Malaysians, the secretariat said. 

A total of eight agencies and 63 members were involved in the firefighting and victim assistance operation, namely the Sabah Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) with 13 members, the Civil Defence Force (12) and the Sabah Welfare Services Department (11).

Also involved were the Red Crescent Society (10 members), Health Ministry (6), the police (5), the  People’s Volunteer Corps Malaysia (5), and the Putatan district office (1).

The fire, which is believed to have started at 5.30 pm, was brought under control at 8.01 pm, but three firemen were rushed to hospital after being electrocuted while extinguishing the fire, the statement read. 

A Sabah JBPM spokesman, when contacted, said the three firemen are well after being allowed to go home late last night.