Tuesday, October 3

221 water village fire victims placed at temporary centre


The fire at Kampung Meruntum, Putatan on Saturday evening.

PUTATAN: A temporary placement centre (PSS) was set up for over 200 victims of a fire at the Kampung Meruntum water village here on Saturday evening.

Community Development and People’s Wellbeing Minister Ir Shahelmy Yahya said the centre was located at the Serigai low-cost housing (PPR).

“We activated a temporary placement centre at the PPR Serigai multipurpose hall which is located near Kampung Meruntum, about half a kilometre away.

“We hope there are no casualties, although we see that there were a lot of homes involved. This is a test while we are celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri,” said Shahelmy.

Shahelmy, who is also Tanjung Keramat assemblyman, said this when met at the location of the fire at Kampung Meruntum, Saturday night.

He further said he appreciated all those involved in helping the victims of the fire.

The fire left 221 people from 45 families homeless after 35 houses were burnt down.

The Putatan district disaster management secretariat, in a statement, said the 62 victims had been placed at the temporary evacuation centre at the Serigai People’s Housing Program, while another PPS at Dewan Keramat had yet to receive any victims.

Of the total number of victims, 42 families were Malaysians, the secretariat said.

A total of eight agencies and 63 members were involved in the firefighting and victim assistance operation, namely the Sabah Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) with 13 members, the Civil Defence Force (12) and the Sabah Welfare Services Department (11).

Also involved were the Red Crescent Society (10 members), Health Ministry (6), the police (5), the People’s Volunteer Corps Malaysia (5), and the Putatan district office (1).

The fire, which is believed to have started at 5.30 pm, was brought under control at 8.01 pm, but three firemen were rushed to hospital after being electrocuted while extinguishing the fire, the statement read.

A Sabah JBPM spokesman, when contacted, said the three firemen are well after being allowed to go home late Saturday night.

This was the second fire incident reported in Putatan. Last month 17 houses along Jalan Lok Kawi Lama/Kampung Dumpil were destroyed in a fire.

Kampung Meruntum, which has a population of about 1,795 villagers, was recently placed under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) from April 13 until April 26 after five positive Covid-19 cases were recorded.