GEORGE TOWN: It was another “fiery” day in Penang when fire broke out at three different places.
Two occurred at Cintra Street and Codrington Avenue on the island while the third happened on the mainland in Jalan Datuk Ooh Chooi Cheng.
The incidents took place a day after four pre-war shophouses were destroyed in two fires that happened in a space of six hours on Tuesday.
This time, the worst took place in Cintra Street when fire gutted two of the three connecting units of an electrical service shop.
Its neighbouring unit, Cintra Heritage Hotel, was partially damaged in the 2pm fire yesterday.
Several explosions were heard before thick black smoke was seen billowing from the burning shophouses.
Firemen spent more than two hours to put out the fire.
State Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Mohd Azman Hussin said they arrived within minutes after receiving a distress call at 2.19pm.
He said 34 firemen were deployed to the scene assisted by voluntary firemen.
Two units of the electrical service shop were 90% gutted while the hotel was damaged on the roof.
“Nobody was injured during the fire. We are still investigating the cause,” he said.
Cintra Heritage Hotel executive operation manager, known only as Rayan, said only two rooms of the hotel were occupied when the fire broke out.
He said the room nearest to the fire scene was not occupied then, adding that all the guests had been transferred to another hotel.
“As we are operating in pre-war shophouses, our workers are well-trained in evacuating the guests.
“We transferred them to another hotel at our own cost as we need to close down the hotel temporarily for some cleaning work and to ensure that the building structure is safe,” he said.
French tourist Jean-Luc Schmitt, 60, who checked into the hotel on Tuesday, said he had just finished showering when the fire broke out.
“After hearing loud bangs, I rushed out from my hotel room and was shocked to see thick smoke coming from a neighbouring building.
“I quickly packed my things and got out to a safe place,” said Schmitt.
The owner of the electrical service shop was too distraught to speak to the press.
Meanwhile, a landed property in Codrington Avenue in Pulau Tikus was partially destroyed in a 6am fire yesterday.
Firemen took about an hour to put out the blaze.
In Bukit Mertajam, fire gutted a double-storey shophouse in Jalan Datuk Ooh Chooi Cheng at 2pm yesterday.
Mohd Azman said the upper floor of the building was already engulfed in flames when they reached the scene.
“The fire was completely put out at 3.47pm and no casualty was reported,” he said.