Dozens of illegal houses burnt down near Inanam, Kota Kinabalu

KOTA KINABALU: Dozens of houses at a squatter water village near Kg. Kalansanan Inanam here was destroyed in a fire believed to have been sparked by a short circuit on Monday (June 10).

Lintas Fire Station chief Agustavia Joe Guasi said the station received a call about the incident at around 12:53pm.

“We sent our team to respond and got assistance from the Kota Kinabalu Fire Station as well,” she said in a statement.

She said by a rough count, some 15 illegal structures were burnt down in the fire.

“Our investigating officials are still on site finding out the cause of the fire,” said Agustavia.

However, sources on the ground said the fire could have been sparked by a short circuit.

Agustavia said no one was reported injured in this incident, and explained that firefighters were slowed down by a collapsed bridge while attempting to reach the incident’s location.

“We also had to plan properly due to safety reasons because there could be live wires under the water,” she said.

Following this incident, several videos have been circulated with squatters claiming that the fire was deliberately started by authorities conducting a squatter-demolition operation.

In the videos, they could be heard saying this was an act of cruelty and that the authorities should have just issued eviction notices first.

A man could also be heard saying that those living there were citizens and that it was better that they threw away their ICs (identification cards) if this was how the authorities treated them.

Kota Kinabalu OCPD Asst Comm Kasim Muda is expected to make a statement on this later.

City Hall officials who wanted to remain anonymous claimed that they were not aware of any demolition operation in the area.

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