KOTA KINABALU: Fire swept through a seaside settlement near Sepanggar Bay naval base, killing a man who was trying to save his burning house.
Sabah Fire and Rescue Services Department director Nordin Fauzi said the man died of smoke inhalation in the 2.30pm blaze.
He said 25 houses were destroyed and about 200 people were made homeless.
The man's body was sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here for a post mortem.
Villager Mohamad Irwan, 32, said the victim was standing too close to the burning house while trying to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher.
“Several minutes later, I heard a loud crack and saw the bridge where the man was standing collapsed. We immediately came to his aid but he was unconscious," Mohamad said.
“We tried to rush him to the hospital but he was already dead," he said.
Fire and Rescue Services Department public relation officer Senior Asst Supt Mohd Affendy Ramin said four fire engines with 23 personnel from Lintas and Sembulan were deployed to the scene.
“We managed to bring the fire under control at around 3.30pm," he said, adding that the fire could have started from one of the wooden houses.
The fire spread quickly as most of the houses were built close together.