Man awakened by loud blast saves family from burning house in Sepanggar

Firemen at the scene of a Monday (Feb 6) morning fire that destroyed six houses in Kota Kinabalu's Sepanggar area.

KOTA KINABALU: A loud explosion probably saved bus driver Herianto Lapance and his family when a Monday (Feb 8) morning fire destroyed his home.

His house was among six houses razed in Kampung Sepakat Jaya, Sepanggar here.

"I was awakened by a sudden loud blast and I immediately went out of the room and saw smoke coming out of my ceiling.

"My immediate thoughts were to grab my children (aged four and six years old) and my wife and get out of the house," he told reporters as the fire gutted the houses at around 8am Monday.

The 34-year-old said that he only managed to save his important personal documents as the fire spread very quickly through the terrace houses.

"Nothing could be saved, only the clothes I am wearing now. Everything was destroyed. I will be staying at a relative's house for now," he said while thanking God that his family was unhurt and safe.

At the height of the fire, a fireman was rushed to the hospital after experiencing shortness of breath but his condition is stable.

A resident was also injured and given treatment by the rescue team.

Lintas Fire and Rescue Station chief, Agustavia Joe Guasi said they received a distress call at 8.06am and managed to bring the fire under control by 9.15am.

Apart from a fireman suffering breathing difficulties, she said there were no casualties in the fire.

"We managed to stop the fire from spreading and saved more than 50 adjacent houses.

"The estimated loss and the cause of the fire are still under investigation," she added.

The explosion is suspected to be from a cooking gas tank though investigations are still underway on the cause of the fire.

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