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Sunny Garden blaze: Affected residents advised to move out temporarily

2 January 2023

KOTA KINABALU: Owners and tenants of the five single-storey terrace houses at Lorong Jering 5, Sunny Garden here that were partially destroyed in the fire on Saturday afternoon were advised to move out temporarily until such time when the premises are repaired.

Api-Api Assemblywoman Datuk Christina Liew gave the advice when she met with the fire victims at the scene, after firemen ceased operations at 4.30pm.

Given the extent of the damage, involving the roofing structure, she said the affected houses are not safe for occupation for now.

"I learned about the incident from pictures posted on my Facebook. Fortunately, there are no casualties.

"I have asked the victims to first lodge reports with the Police and Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba). They can contact me if they need help in making their fire insurance claims.

"I understand that the house where the fire started is 90 per cent destroyed. Three other houses are 50 per cent destroyed while the corner house, which is vacant and under renovation, is 20 per cent damaged," Liew told reporters.

She was accompanied by former Kapitan Margaret Chong and Api-Api Constituency Liaison Officer Grace Lee.

Kota Kinabalu Bomba received a distress call at 2.36pm. Two fire-engines arrived at the scene at 2.42pm, and brought the fire under control by 3pm.

Retiree Henry Teo, 80, told the Api-Api Assemblywoman that the fire started in his wet kitchen at the back of the house.

"Everything is gone. I believe it was due to the wiring system. I tried to put out the fire but my effort was hampered by low water pressure. My wife Janet and daughter could not save our belongings as the fire spread rapidly to the dining-room and three bedrooms.

"I shouted 'Help! Help!' but no help came," he lamented.

The fire spread to Felix Liew's house which was rented out to a family. Tenant Aliff Farhan said he dialled 999 to call for help.

Meanwhile, house owner Richard Tai, 72, said he rushed home upon being informed by his cousin who lived next door.

"I have lived here for 38 years. By the time I reached home at 2.55pm, it was too late to save my office papers, among other possessions," he said, adding his wife and children are presently overseas.

"I will stay with my sister for the time being."


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