KUALA LUMPUR: Eleven shops and houses were destroyed in a fire in Jalan Gombak here, leaving about 50 people homeless.
The fire, believed to have started at one of the shops, spread rapidly to the other premises. There were no reported cases of injury.
Federal Territory Fire and Rescue Department assistant operations director Md Ali Ismail said seven engines and 45 firemen rushed to the scene after receiving a distress call at 9.25pm yesterday.
“We had difficulty getting water supply as the nearest fire hydrant was 60m away.
“However, we managed to control the blaze within 40 minutes after we arrived,'' he said.
He said seven double-storey shops and four squatter houses were destroyed, adding that the business premises included coffee shops, tyre shops and a sundry shop.
A massive traffic jam occurred along Jalan Gombak as police had to cordon off the road to facilitate the fire fighting operation.
Victim Wong Siew Mei, owner of Hup Poh Tyres Service, said another tyre shop two doors away was on fire when she returned home from an outing with her husband.
Before the couple could rescue any valuables and important documents from the premises, the fire spread to an adjoining squatter house. Her shop was next to be razed.
Federal Territories Ministry parliamentary secretary Yew Teong Look, when met at the scene, said he would discuss with the City Hall to arrange temporary shelter at DBKL flats for the victims.
He added that each affected family would be given RM300 to RM500 as compensation.