SIBU: Two sisters were rescued by their neighbour in the nick of time from their burning house.
Nur Qhasseh Larrisha Laura Azuan, seven, and Nur Arisha Alysha Abdullah, eight, were asleep when the fire started.
The blaze destroyed four wooden houses in Jalan Amoy here yesterday morning, leaving 17 people from four families with only the clothes on their back.
The siblings were not in school due to the UPSR examination.
“I am thankful that they were rescued by their neighbour who rushed in and grabbed the girls from the house, ” said headmistress Veronica Su who was at the scene.
Nur Qhasseh is in Year One while Nur Arisha is a Year Two pupil of SK St Rita.
Su said at the time of the fire, the children’s parents were at work.
Their father is a storekeeper while the mother works in a bird’s nest processing factory.
The neighbour, Guba Nuli, a 48-year-old odd job worker, stayed with the girls until their mother rushed home.
According to acting deputy director of Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department Tiong Ling Hii, firemen who arrived at the scene about 10 minutes after receiving a distress call could not do much as the fire was already at its height.
“We received a distress call from at 8.33am. We rushed 21 firemen in two engines to the scene. When they got there, the fire had already destroyed 90% of the houses, ” he said.
He said the most they could do was to prevent the fire from spreading to the adjacent houses.
The fire was put under control at 9.08am.
“We are investigating the cause of the fire and tallying the total losses, ” Tiong said.