INFERNO: 80 families left homeless
SEBUYAU (Kota Samarahan): SOME 80 families here were left homeless when their houses was razed at midnight yesterday.
No casualties were reported in the 10-minute incident.
The families were staying on the top floor of the pre-war wooden shophouses.
They were awakened from their sleep by patrons of a nearby coffee shop.
The victims said the fire spread so fast that they had no time to salvage anything. Some of the victims are now putting up in homes of relatives' or friends, while others have taken shelter at SJKC Chung Hua.
Two rows of the 29 shophouses, the Sebuyau District Council's wet market and a few stalls at the market were also destroyed in the fire.
Eye-witnesses claimed the fire appeared to have started from a snooker hall in the centre of one of the blocks.
Simunjan fire chief, Sekan Gundah said his department received a call at 12.01am.
One fire engine with 12 firemen were dispatched to the scene.
Sekan said while little could be done to save the two blocks, the firemen, with assistance of the town's 15 volunteers, members of the civil defence and Rela, succeeded in stopping the fire from spreading to the two adjoining blocks and the food market.
The fire was eventually brought under control at 1.47am.
The Fire and Rescue Department is investigating the cause of the fire.