KUALA LUMPUR: The city’s glitzy shopping and entertainment district of Bukit Bintang was brought to a standstill today when fire broke out at a budget hotel here.
The Joko Hotel at Jalan Berangan, off Jalan Cenderasari, was completely razed to the ground in the 1.40pm blaze, though no casualties were reported.
Thick brown smoke could be seen billowing from the burning premises, covering several blocks of Bukit Bintang and obscuring surrounding highrises.
City Fire and Rescue Department operations centre chief Samsol Maarif Saibani confirmed the incident.
“We received a distress call at 1.46pm and arrived at the scene 13 minutes later.
“The blaze was brought under control at 2.25pm and was completely put out at 3.13pm,” he said when contacted.
Twenty-four firemen from the Hang Tuah, Pudu, and KLCC stations were dispatched to the scene.
Firemen were later seen picking their way through the charred remains of the hotel, as distressed hotel staff, guests, tourists and shoppers looked on.