Police deny authorities set fire to squatter house in Inanam water village

KOTA KINABALU: Kota Kinabalu police chief ACP Kasim Muda denied allegations in a video that went viral on social media, that the authorities set fire to a slum house next to the Kampung Kalansanan Inanam water village, here on Monday.

On the other hand, he said the incident that razed 26 squatter houses was believed to be caused by a short circuit in one of the houses before the fire spread to other illegal housing structures.

ACP Kasim said the short circuit was also believed to be caused by the fact that the first house that caught fire was used as the incoming source for electricity cables and linked to other houses.

"At that time, police were between 50 and 60 metres away from the location in question. Police were behind and not involved in the front (area where the fire originated) and the fire has nothing to do with the (police) operational area,” he said here on Monday (June 10).

ACP Kasim said police also explained to residents that the authorities did not come to the area to set fire to the colony, but rather to conduct operations to combat illegal immigrants and crime.

He said it was the police who called the fire and rescue department to report about the fire before firefighters arrived at about 12.59pm to put out the blaze.

Hence, he appealed to the parties involved to delete the viral video that misleads the public and advised caution in sharing information that is not confirmed to be valid.

Meanwhile, a Sabah Fire and Rescue Department spokesman said 14 firefighters from the Lintas Fire and Rescue Station and 12 from the Kota Kinabalu Fire and Rescue Station managed to bring the blaze under control by 2pm.

"The location of the fire had no access to vehicles and the fire brigade could not cross the waters because the damaged bridge had collapsed.

"No casualties were reported and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The investigative team is still at the location and faced delays because there are still illegally wired electric cables,” he said in a separate statement.

He said for safety against electrocution from live wires, the Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) warned that there were too many illegal electrical connections at the squatter colony. - Bernama

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