Firecrackers believed to cause fire, killing cosmetic millionaire's sons


IPOH: Investigators believed the Saturday night fire that killed the two children of Vida Beauty founder Datuk Dr Harmiza Othman may have been triggered by firecrackers.

Prior to the fire that gutted the house at the Meru Hills, several staff of Dr Harmiza or Dr Vida as she is fondly known, were seen playing with firecrackers at the porch of the property with two of her younger children - Nor Adeline, 8, and Eric Zaquan, 5.

Harmiza's two older children -  Eddie Zuhdi Mohd Amin, 11, and Edrie Zikrie Mohd Amin, 10 - were on the first floor of the house with two other company workers.

The New Straits Times learnt that the staff who were on the ground floor were lighting firecrackers when sparks from the firecrackers caused the furniture and clothes at the porch to catch fire around 9pm.

The fire grew and spread to a Perodua Kancil, a Bentley and several motorcycles parked under the porch of the house before spreading into the house.

The growing fire caused thick smoke to envelop the house.

Eddie Zuhdi and Edrie Zikrie, together with Harmiza's worker Mohd Nor Syamil Mat Zaidi, 26, tried to escape by seeking shelter in the bathroom on the upper floor of the house.

Their bodies were later found and they were believed to have died of smoke inhalation.
Another worker, Rosfi Ismail, 30, who was also on the first floor, escaped by jumping out and broke his leg.

The house that was gutted by fire was one of four properties belonging to Harmiza, a successful businesswoman.

The house was used as quarters for her staff while she lived several doors away. At the time of the incident she was in Penang.

Meanwhile, the remains of Eddie Zuhdi and Edri Zikrie, were laid to rest in one burial plot at the Meru Raya Muslim cemetery at 10.15am.

The third victim, Mohd Nor's remains is expected to be buried in Kampung Teluk Kepayang, Bota today.

Bernama reported the blaze at the Vida Beauty staff accommodation was probably caused by a short circuit.

"However, the fire and rescue department is still conducting investigations into the blaze," said Ipoh police chief ACP Sum Chang Keong in a text message today.

Vida Beauty founder Datuk Dr Harmiza Othman, mother of the boys killed in fire, waters the grave the of her sons. -- NSTP pix by Muhaizan Yahya.

Bodies of fire victims, Muhammad Edrie Zikrie Mohd Amin,10, and his brother Muhammad Eddie Zuhdie Mohd Amin,11, being laid to rest. -- NSTP/Muhaizan Yahya.

Bodies of two siblings, Muhammad Edrie Zikrie Mohd Amin,10, and Muhammad Eddie Zuhdie Mohd Amin,11, who perished in fire being laid to rest. -- NSTP/Muhaizan Yahya.

Muhammad Edrie Zikrie Mohd Amin,10 (right) and his brother Muhammad Eddie Zuhdie Mohd Amin,11 who were killed in a fire at Meru Hills. -- NSTP/Email.

Fire and rescue team trying to put off fire at Vida Beauty founder's house at Meru Hills. The fire claimed lives of two boys and a man. -- NSTP/Muhaizan Yahya.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah accompanied by Maji Adun, Mohamad Ziad Mohamed and state Fire and Rescue Department director Yahaya Madis at the condition of the Vida Beauty founder Datuk Dr Harmiza Othman double-storey house which was on fire last night. Pix by Muhaizan Yahya

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