KUDAT: Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang urged the Fire and Rescue Services Department to upgrade its facilities in Kudat, especially the provision of fire trucks equipped with ladders.
Teo said firemen had encountered difficulty in putting out the fire that razed the Sunrise Hotel in Kudat on Thursday as the fire truck had no ladder.
“The fire infrastructure in Kudat needs to be upgraded.”
Teo pointed out that Kudat has many four and five-storey buildings, and it would be difficult for the firemen to access multi-storey buildings without a fire truck equipped with a ladder in the event of a fire.
Teo, who is also Tanjung Kapor assemblyman, said this yesterday after inspecting the Sunrise Hotel and shops that were razed by the fire in Kudat.
The fire was one of the worst ever recorded in Kudat.
Six people were injured when trying to escape from the fire. Two of them broke their spines. .
Rahimah Bilang, 60, and Harun Majid, 59, both from Kampung Likas here, broke their spines after jumping down from their hotel room on the third floor.
The four other injured victims who received outpatient treatment were Hassan Malib, 35, Jaimah Bakang, 47, and Dalah Harun, 63, all of Kampung Delima Darat Pitas; and Aziz Ahmad, 48.
Besides the three-storey hotel, also razed were a raw of shops, two furniture shops, two sundry shops, a saloon, an eatery, a textile shop and a bullet shop.
Teo conveyed his sympathies to the fire victims, adding that two of the injured victims who received treatment at Kudat Hospital had been transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu while four others were discharged.
The minister also urged the Kudat Town Board to inspect or replace electrical wirings in old shops or buildings as precautionary measures.
Teo was briefed by the fire and police personnel as he arrived at the site, and said the cause of fire was still under investigation.
He also met the shop owners and tenants who were affected by the fire, and gave his advice on insurance claims and rebuilding the shops.
Teo, who was in Kota Kinabalu when the fire broke out, immediately contacted the Water Department in Kudat to increase the water pressure for fire rescue at the location.
“Initially the firemen were having difficulty in putting out the flames due to low water pressure, but it subsequently improved.”
The Kudat Fire and Rescue Services Department was assisted by Kota Marudu Fire and Rescue Services Department in putting out the fire.
“The firemen had to use the fire hydrant and water pumped from the sea to control the blaze,” he added.