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Monday November 19, 2012
By M. SIVANANTHA SHARMAnorth@thestar.com.my
BUKIT MERTAJAM: Six families were left with only the clothes on their backs after a fire gutted their rented semi-wooden, double-storey houses at Kampung Kubang Semang near here.
Zuraini Darus, 42, said she was having her bath at 10.30am yesterday when the incident happened and she rushed out after being alerted of the fire by her neighbours.
“I could not go upstairs to salvage my belongings as the fire was spreading fast,” she said, adding that she managed to save her daughter Muna Izzah Abdul Mustafa, 10, who was in the living room.
Her husband Abdul Mutalib Mohd Noor, 52, who works as a land surveyor at a construction company, said he was buying groceries at the market when he received a call from a friend about the fire.
“I rushed back and all that I have, including my personal documents and education certificates, were lost,” he added.
Abdul Mutalib, who has been renting the house for 21 years, said he estimated his losses at RM50,000.
Another victim Mohd Nazri Abdul Rahman, 37, said he was sleeping after completing his night shift and was awakened by his six-year-old son Mohd Lokman.
“I continued to sleep as I thought he was joking. I woke up after much pestering and I realised that there was indeed a fire,” he said, adding that he then ran to safety with his son.
Bandar Perda Fire and Rescue Department station chief Mohd Hadzi Yusof said 30 firemen in six fire engines from Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam and Prai rushed to the scene after they received a distress call at 10.35am.
“We managed to contain the fire after an hour. The fire spread fast as the upper floors of the houses were made of wooden planks,” he added.
Mohd Hadzi said a fireman suffered breathing difficulties and was rushed to the Bukit Mertajam Hos-pital.
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