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George Town: Two fires that broke out less than eight hours apart in two different places in Jelutong here yesterday morning left four families homeless.
In the first incident about 3am on Jalan Jelutong, victims Teh Tatt Lye, 68, his wife and their two sons were left only with the pyjamas they were wearing.
One of his sons, Kean Yam, 28, had time to snatch his handphone and wallet before running out of the burning wooden house.
"We are lucky to be alive although we could not save any of our valuables," Tatt Lye said, adding that his family’s losses were about RM200,000.
The car and motorcycle in the family's garage were not spared from the flames, which also burnt down another wooden home and left five homeless.
Jalan Perak fire and rescue department operation chief Yamin Tekor said 80 firemen, including those from Lebuh Pantai and Paya Terubong, and 40 volunteer firefighters and community policemen took half an hour to put out the fire.
Later at 10.50am, the second fire broke out on Jalan Md Taib, destroying another two houses, leaving two families homeless.
Victim Syed Ibrahim Syed Abu Bakar, 62, and his wife had just returned home from a medical check-up at a hospital when they heard that their neighbour's house was on fire.
"I saw the fire spread to my house. I screamed for my family, including my three grandchildren to get out. We are thankful nobody was hurt," he said, adding that the family of five next door also got out safely.
Yamin said 25 firemen and four fire trucks were called to the scene and took 10 minutes to control the flames.