SEPANG, March 16 ― “It should have been me instead of him.”
Those were the words of 66-year-old Tiew Ng Ngu, whose grandson Tiew Kai Hen, five, perished during a fire at a house in Taman Gemilang, Dengkil, early yesterday.
Ng Ngu, who lives a few doors away from his grandson, said he had spent time with Kai Hen several hours earlier before tragedy struck.
“My grandson and his six-year-old sister Kah Ming were at my house earlier as I babysit them during the day,” he said.
Ng Ngu, who sells noodles at a nearby food court, said he was asleep during the 3am incident and only realised his son’s house was on fire after being alerted to it by neighbours
“My son, Ah Sen, left his children at home to buy food. His wife, an Indonesian, returned to Jakarta last week to attend to her sick father,” he said.
“At first, my neighbours thought both the children were asleep in my house since their mother was away. But when they heard Kah Ming screaming from inside, they managed to prise open the window grille and save her.”
Ng Ngu said he tried to enter the burning house to save Kai Hen but was stopped by the neighbours.
“My son loved his children so much,” he said.
Mohd Ashraf Mohd Hamzah, a lorry driver who stays next door, said he was sleeping when the fire broke out.
“The fire spread to my house and my mother alerted me to it,” he said.
“We woke the other family members, grabbed our personal documents and belongings and ran out of the house,” he said.
Mohd Ashraf heard Kah Ming’s cry for help and together with other neighbours, broke the window and saved her.
“We did not know Kai Hen was also inside,” he said.
Ashraf said Ng Ngu told the neighbours there was another child in the house but it was too late.
He said Fire and Rescue personnel were at the scene minutes soon after that.