2 religious hostel schools hit by fires, students unhurt

IPOH, 3 July 2017: 

Two religious learning centres in Perak caught fire in Perak last night but no casualties were reported in both incidents.

In Teluk Intan, the excitement of a group of female students sharing their experience of spending Hari Raya back in their hometowns turned into panic – when the storeroom of their ground floor dormitory at Sekolah Menengah Agama Maahad Al-Islah, Sungai Lampam here was almost razed to the ground by fire.

School principal Agus Lokman Sulam said he was grateful that all the 68 school boarders did not sustained any injuries in the 11.30pm incident

“The girls dormitory houses 85 people but only 68 had returned up till tonight and all the students and their belongings were safe because their dormitory rooms are located on the second and third floors.”

Teluk Intan Fire and Rescue Department chief Zulkafli Abdullah said fire engines from the Teluk Intan and Hutan Melintang stations, which rushed to the scene, took 15 minutes to control the fire.

He said the cause and estimated losses incurred were still being ascertained.

In Pengkalan  Hulu, about 200km from here, 18 dormitory rooms of the Addiniah al-Latifiah Religious School better known as Pondok Pak Teh in Kampung Kuak Luar caught fire at 11pm.

A spokesman of the Perak Fire and Rescue Department said a distress call was received at about 11.27pm and two fire engines from the fire stations in Pengkalan Hulu and Baling, Kedah was rushed to the scene and the fire was  doused at about 1.30am with assistance of police and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

“All 66 students who were at their dormitory at the back of the school were unhurt,’ he said in a statement today.

In KUALA TERENGGANU, a woman who perished in a fire at a two-storey wooden house in Jalan Kepong, Pengadang Baru here yesterday afternoon was heard crying for help in her final moments.

“I could hear Siti Nor Munirah Abu Bakar’s loud cries for help while she was talking to her husband over the mobile phone minutes before the blaze began to rage,” said Yusri Abdul Rahman.

The witness, who is also the couple’s immediate neighbour said it was heart-wrenching to watch 31-year-old Siti Nor Munirah’s husband being able to only pass on a ladder to her from outside the house.

Yusri said he saw the victim trying to escape the fire on the upper floor of the unit but the blaze had spread too soon, eventually drowning out Siti Nur Munirah’s voice amidst thick, black  smoke.

“The fire was raging…even we (neighbours), having arrived at the scene earlier than the firemen, could hardly do anything. During those chaotic moments, I could see the victim’s husband, Abdul Mukkin Ahmad desperately looking for ways to rescue his wife from what appeared to be  an imminent fiery end.

“However, his efforts were in vain as the (windows of the) house was fixed with safety iron grille.”

He said Abdul Mukkin was at a cushion repair workshop located adjacent to the couple’s house when the fire broke out.

Siti Nur Munirah’s mother-in-law, Minah Endut, 62, said her 35-year-old son had married the victim in March and the couple had moved into the house four days ago.

“I was at a supermarket with another child when I received the shocking news. My other son and his wife were also at the house taking a nap on the ground floor. However, they managed to run to safety. When I got home, I was immediately looking for her (victim) but she was nowhere to be seen.”

Meanwhile, Terengganu Fire and Rescue Department deputy director Sharikan Bustaman said Siti Nur Munirah’s charred remains were found about 6pm on the ground floor.

He said the victim was believed to have been fallen after the entire house was ablaze.

“We received the distress call at 4.33pm before dispatching three fire engines from the Kuala Terengganu and Jalan Kota fire stations.

“The house was already destroyed about 80 per cent by the time the firefighters arrived. However, we managed to prevent the fire from spreading to adjoining houses within 30 minutes.”

– Bernama

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