PETALING JAYA: Cries for help were heard by residents who had woken for the Subuh prayers in Kampung Datuk Keramat early Thursday.
As they rushed out of their homes to see where the cries came from at about 5.00am, a fire was already burning at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz in Jalan Datuk Keramat.
Huge flames were seen at the topmost floor of the three-storey building where the students were sleeping in double-decker beds in a dormitory.
Fire and Rescue Department staff who arrived at the scene could not do much to save those trapped inside the school.
At least 21 students and two teachers were killed in the fire. Four others have been warded at Kuala Lumpur Hospital in critical condition.