PETALING JAYA: What should have been a joyful Chinese New Year for two families in Sibu, Sarawak, turned into tragedy when their homes were destroyed in a fire in the early hours of the morning.
The fire, which started at 1am today, also damaged two neighbouring houses, according to a Harian Metro report.
A spokesman for the Sarawak fire and rescue department said they received a call at 1.13am that a car had caught fire in the garage of a house at Taman Permai Jaya, Sibu. Twenty-eight firemen from the Sungai Merah and Sentral Sibu fire stations were then dispatched to the location.
“When our men arrived at the scene, we found that the fire was still raging and had spread from the car and engulfed the house. It had also spread to the house on the right and to two houses on the left,” he said.
The fire spread to a fourth house but the firemen managed to put it out, resulting in only 5% damage to that house.
“Two houses that were 70% and 30% damaged were owned by Chinese families while another two houses with Malay households were damaged by 10% and 5%.
“Neighbours had initially tried to put out the fire using a dry powder fire extinguisher but they weren’t successful.”
According to the spokesmen, all 25 occupants of the four houses managed to escape without injury.
Investigations are being carried out to determine how the car had caught fire.