Penang fire victims only aware of emergency when it was too late: Fire Dept


GEORGE TOWN: The victims of a tragic fire at Pintasan Cecil 5, Pengkalan Weld here only realised they were in danger when flames had already engulfed the entire house.

That is the opinion of Penang Fire and Rescue Department director Saadon Mokhtar, who said that there were signs that the victims had tried to make their escape, only to realise they were trapped.

"This is what we believe happened. Even the neighbours told our officers that they did not hear any calls for help coming from the house during the incident.

"We found the first three victims at 7.10am, and the fourth victim at 7.50am.

“The cause of the fire is still unknown," he said when met at the house here.

The four victims of the fire at the two-storey house were the mother, wife and two children of MCA Tanjong Youth chief Lim Swee Bok.

The dead were identified as Im Jia Yiin, 8; Lim Yin Chun, 9; Chen Yen, 35; and Lau Sai Poh, 62.

Meanwhile, Saadon has disputed speculation that the victims were unable to escape because there was only one entry/exit point.

"There are specific requirements needed to have more than one exit point. For this house, (just having one door) fulfils specifications, as the house’s (ground floor) is 20 by 20 square feet," he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd