KUALA LUMPUR: Victims, some as young as 7, who perished in the fire at Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah Tahfiz Centre in Datuk Keramat here early this morning were trapped inside their hostel.
Survivor Muhd Izzarudin Roslan, 15, said they only realised that their dormitory on the third floor of the building at Jalan Keramat Hujung was on fire at about 5am, when flames were licking its front door.
"I was sleeping when suddenly, I heard noises like gas leaking from a tank.
"When I woke up, fire had already engulfed the front door. Immediately, several of us started to try to wake up our friends.
"However, there were also several who did not wake up at all. It was chaotic, as we could not get out, as the front door of the hostel was already blazing. Fire had even spread to our beds," he told reporters when met at the scene.
Izzarudin said he and several other students had also tried to put out the blaze using water, but the effort proved futile as the blaze was raging.
He said he then broke a window before grabbing a pipe that was attached to the outside of the building, and used it to escape to the ground.
"There were only eight of us who managed to escape through the window. Several of my friends also fell to the ground in the attempt, including those who with flames on their hair and clothes," he said.
He said their two wardens who slept in the room on the floor had also woken up.
They tried rescuing the students, but perished with the others.
Meanwhile, City fire and rescue Department deputy director Abu Obaidat said they believe that the blaze could have been caused by a short circuit.
However, he said this can only be confirmed through a thorough forensic investigation.