Firemen check if karaoke centre had proper plans, after 6 lives lost in blaze

IPOH: The Fire and Rescue Services Department is checking on the approval permits for an entertainment centre where six people died in a fire early today.

Perak Fire Services Department acting director Sayani Saidon told Bernama that the eight-storey building along Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah here was once meant for offices and his officers will check whether a plan was approved for the entertainment centre.

“The original plan (with the department) is for office premises, complete with smoke detectors, but it has now changed to an entertainment centre.

“We will determine whether the owner had submitted a fresh plan for modified use of the premises,” she said.

Ipoh deputy district police chief (administration) Mohd Nordin Abdullah said police would investigate whether the entertainment centre had operated beyond the specified hours of up to 1am.

He said the place had a valid entertainment centre licence.

Three of the six dead were foreigners while another has yet to be identified.

Two of the dead were identified as Malaysians Tai Chee Kin, 37, and Lau Wai Hoong, 36. The third man is a Bangladeshi while a fourth man has yet to be identified.

The other two who died were Vietnamese women, identified as Ngu Yen Thi Trang, 19, and Ngu Yen Thi Thuy Dhong, 21.

One of the two critically injured, a Malaysian man, identified as Ng Kook Eng, 39, has been admitted to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital here.

Firemen were alerted to the fire at 5.49am. The bodies of Tai and Lau were found near the exit of the premises at 6.09am.

“Four bodies were in one of the karaoke lounges. Three of these bodies, one of a woman, were found in the washroom and the body of the other woman was just outside the lounge,” Sayani said.

Seven people escaped the blaze.

Those who died are believed to have suffocated when thick smoke filled the premises.