KUALA LUMPUR: At least 29 squatter houses, including a workshop, a grocery shop and a store, were damaged in a fire near Jalan Peel, Cheras, yesterday morning.
City Fire and Rescue Department chief Khirudin Drahman said 25 firemen from three fire stations took about 30 minutes to put out the fire.
"According to our record there were about 100 victims. Although we took a while to get everything under control as the water pressure was low, there were no casualties and no one was injured."
"After receiving a distress call around 9.07am, we arrived at the scene eight minutes later. The fire stations involved were the Hang Tuah, Pudu and Bandar Tun Razak fire station," he said, adding that there were 40 houses in the area belonging to 21 families.
Khirudin said the victims were temporarily housed at a nearby St. John's hall and the cause of the fire was being investigated.
Lai Yoke Peng, 46, who has been living there for more than 40 years, said she had just woken up when the fire started.
"I heard noises outside my room and there was a scream. I looked out and to my horror, my neighbour's house had caught fire and it had spread to my house. I could not save anything, not even my identification card and birth certificate."
"I'm a single mother and I don't earn much. I don't know how I am going to survive. But I am glad that my mother was not at home when this happened."
Tang Poh Mei, 37, said she only realised there was a fire after feeling the heat in her room.
"When I saw the fire I grabbed my birth certificate and other important documents before rushing out."