Power surge could have caused fire, claims villager

  • Nation
  • Friday, 30 Jan 2015

KOTA KINABALU: Power supply from Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd’s (SESB) mobile generators is being questioned after a house in Kampung Kionsom was gutted while dozens of electrical appliances in neighbouring houses were damaged.

The 11.30am fire destroyed the house of bus driver Melbert Manogaran, 32, located some 20km from here, though no casualty was reported.

According to some accounts, the blaze occurred moments after electricity in the village was restored after it was cut two-and-a-half hours earlier due to maintenance work on power lines at nearby Inanam town.

Villager Pius Gitom claimed he saw sparks at the fuse box of his house. His neighbours also reported similar incidents.

“There were also cases of electrical appliances suddenly giving out sparks before they malfunctioned,” he claimed, adding that villagers noticed the SESB mobile generator truck hooked to a substation in the area.

Pius said when the fire broke out at Melbert’s house, he rushed to the workers manning the mobile generator to ask them to cut off power immediately.

“I believe when the generator was hooked to the substation, there was some sort of power surge that caused sparks at my fuse box,” he said.

When contacted, a SESB official said power supply to Inanam town, Kionsom and nearby villages had been cut off since 9am for maintenance work.

The official said the company would not comment on claims of power surge, and would await for the outcome of the Fire and Rescue Services Department’s investigation on the cause of the blaze.

Department spokesman Affendy Ramin said a team of firemen who rushed to the village used water from a nearby river to bring the blaze under control at 12.15pm.

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